Measuring the conductance of flames

In summary, the experiment is successful, but the reason for the increase in conductance is not understood. The experiment would be more successful if the materials were burning at the same rate.
  • #1
Conducto
2
0
Hi, I'm doing a project on mesuring the conductance of flames, but I need a lot more physics to back up my theory. I'm pretty sure that the Boltzmann factor is involved, however I can't link the two items together.

The experiment so far has worked, by using a bunsen burner to burn the salts of elements, i.e. Barium Chloride, Calcium Chloride etc and measuring the conductance of the flame across a gap of 2mm between 2 nichrome electrodes.

Thanks in advance for any replies! :bugeye:
 
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  • #2
Do you mean electrical conductance or thermal conductance? If you are talking about electrical conductance ("conductivity"), as I think you are, your mention of the Boltzman constant indicates that you are up the wrong tree.

Your experiment indicates a rather interesting idea and I urge you to continue. To obtain meaningful data you will need: a multimeter that measures voltage, current and resistance; a variable voltage source (0 to 12 V DC would be good); a physics texbook with four or five chapters on electricity and circuits.

Do not mess with voltages higher than 12 volts, and keep your skin dry. Watch "Leathal Weapon 2" to see why.
 
  • #3
Thanks for the reply,

I have already conducted the experiment with reasonable success, but what I really need is some physics to relate the reason behind the following results:

Sodium 1.23
Calcium 1.37
Strontium 1.50
Potassium 2.18
Barium 1.66

(values are measured in Conductance (µS))

What I really need to know is the physics behind what makes this work, and why the conductance increases with the number of electrons in the atoms shells. Is there any formula/theories which relate to this?
 
  • #4
I can't give you any patent answers, but think you will have to consider the ionization state of the various chemials. Perhaps the larger molecules have a tendency to higher states of ionization??


Many years ago I read of something called a Flame speaker. To make one all you would need do is place an audio signal on your needles. The audio signal will cause oscilations in the flame which will act a nearly perfect speaker. Have always wanted to try it.
 
  • #5
Are you expecting conductivity to go like
exp(-ionization energy/k_B*T)

I'd suggest you first make sure you're burning materials at the same rate.
then try plotting on log scale "might" get a straight line.
(but don't forget the Cl that's also in the salt!) - Good Luck -
 

1. What is the purpose of measuring the conductance of flames?

Measuring the conductance of flames allows scientists to understand the behavior and characteristics of different types of flames. This information can be used to improve safety measures, design more efficient combustion systems, and gain insights into the chemistry and physics of combustion processes.

2. How is the conductance of flames measured?

The conductance of flames is typically measured using a device called a conductivity probe. This probe is inserted into the flame and measures the electrical conductivity, which is then used to calculate the conductance. Other methods, such as optical techniques, can also be used to measure the conductance of flames.

3. What factors can affect the conductance of flames?

The conductance of flames can be affected by a variety of factors, including the type of fuel, the amount of oxygen present, the temperature of the flame, and the presence of impurities or contaminants. It can also be influenced by external factors such as air flow and pressure.

4. What information can be obtained from measuring the conductance of flames?

By measuring the conductance of flames, scientists can determine the ionization levels, flame temperature, and chemical composition of the flame. This information can be used to study the combustion process and identify ways to optimize it for different applications.

5. What are some practical applications of measuring the conductance of flames?

Measuring the conductance of flames has many practical applications, such as improving the efficiency of power plants and engines, developing cleaner and more efficient combustion processes, and enhancing safety in industrial and domestic settings. It is also used in research and development of new combustion technologies and in understanding the behavior of wildfires.

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