Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Relating heat to fire to light to pressure to electricity

  1. Dec 9, 2003 #1
    Can someone please tell me what the relationships are between, heat, pressure, light and electricity? Why a magnet spinning around wire produce electricity...why does does a nail wrapped in a wire, which has electricity moving through it, transform the nail into a magnet? What is fire and why does it produce illumination?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is a pretty general question to give a complete answer could fill volumns.

    Why electo magnets?

    Early research into magnetic and electric phenomena reveled that a changing Electric Field is equivelent to a magnetic field. An electric current consists of charged particles in motion, a charged partical has an electric field, so moving charges (electrons) create a moving (changing) electric field, this is the same as a magnetic field. These priniples were expressed Mathematically by Clerk Maxwell in the mid 1860's, today Maxwell's Equations are the core to all things Electro Magnetic.

    What is fire?

    A fire is a self susustaining Oxidation process, it produces sufficinet heat to maintain itself as long as it has O2 and fuel. The flames are compounds vaporized by the heat of the reaction. They glow because they the heat and chemial reaction result in atoms which have energetic electrons, that is there are electrons in higher energy then expected orbitals. This is an unstable state, the result is that the electrons quickly seek a lower energy orbital, as they drop to lower energy, more stable orbitals, photons are emmitted. This is the color you see in flames. The color of the flame will vary with the chemical content of the fuel. Thus an important method of chemical analysis is a flame test, the color is a key inditator to the chemicals present.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook