Is fire matter?

  • Thread starter Dremmer
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  • #1
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And if so, what state of matter is it?
 

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  • #2
sophiecentaur
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A coal fire is a mixture of solids and gases - with possibly some 'liquid' if there happens to be any melting non-specific 'gunge' in the hot coal. The word "fire" refers more to a process than a substance.
Science is really above these things, though. There is little point in trying to 'categorise' everything in the world. The 'three states of matter' (plus Plasma) are very coarse categories and there are many many common substances that fall into more than one.
We have the same problem if we want to categorise life forms, electromagnetic waves, signals and many others. Life's too short and it doesn't help at all with our understanding - quite the reverse, in fact, I think.
 
  • #3
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Hydrogen fire is plasma.
 
  • #4
sophiecentaur
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and gas!
 
  • #5
Redbelly98
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Is fire matter?
No, it is not.
 
  • #6
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It doesn't behave like typical matter, which makes some people believe that it is not actually matter.
 
  • #7
alxm
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It doesn't behave like typical matter, which makes some people believe that it is not actually matter.
Huh? Why are you asking the question if you're not going to listen to the answers?

Fire is not matter; it's a chemical process. Rusting is not matter either, nor is freezing.
There's nothing in a fire that was not there before, and nothing left after a fire that wasn't there before that.
 
  • #8
Borek
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First of all, define precisely what you mean by "fire". Just flame? Process? Everything that we see when looking at fire, that is something that burns, flames and smoke?
 
  • #9
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I think that when most people think of fire, they think of the flames.
 
  • #10
sophiecentaur
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"Most people" don't have very well informed opinions, in general, about Science so a lot of popularly held views of Science are faulty.
e.g. "Current takes the easiest route"
"Nature abhors a vacuum"
"Warm air can hold a lot of water"
etc.
etc.
Isn't the point of this Forum to get things as right as possible?
 
  • #11
From my understanding, matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. So rather than asking "if fire is matter," you should probably ask yourself, "what parts of fire make up matter?"*

* Is Fire Matter?. (n.d.). NEWTON/ANL Home Page. Retrieved November 25, 2010, from http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci
 
  • #12
sophiecentaur
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Dead link (at least for me), I'm afraid.
 
  • #13
Dead link (at least for me), I'm afraid.
I'm sorry, it was working for me not too long ago, but it was just part of my citation.
 

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