1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Heat, fire, pressure - things i don't understand

  1. Jan 2, 2009 #1
    Hi all,

    Apologies if this is in the wrong location, i'm new (and using that as an excuse :) )

    i am currently working on a fantasy novel and having some issues that my days old knowledge of thermodynamics, and what-not, is nowhere near capable of managing.

    So, to dive straight in; if we were to assume that you had access to a large amount of energy (potential or otherwise) and chose to use said energy by transferring it to a point in the air in front of you to generate a high temperature (thousands of degress) would a flame appear? Or, is a flame only generated when a secondary material is introduced, such as wood, carbon etc?

    if you were to heat to a small part of the air in front of you quickly and highly enough would you create a shockwave which would 'push' things?

    any help, knowledge or nudges in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You wouldn't create a flame - a flame needs fuel+oxygen+heat.
    You could create a plasma if you heated it enough - like a spherical glowing spark
    Enough heating can create a force, lightning creates a supersonic shock by heating air - that's the thunder you hear.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2009 #3
    If some of the nitrogen were oxidized would there be a visible flame?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Heat, fire, pressure - things i don't understand
  1. I don't understand. (Replies: 5)

  2. I don't understand work (Replies: 32)

Loading...