Our statistics draw that the average chemistry student has not done laboratory experiments within the last five years. In this exercise, we will carry out simple kitchen chemistry experiments that will allow you to sharpen your observational skills and get some quick feedback on your laboratory report writing skills. Remember you do not need your all-home microlab kit to do any of these experiments.
In the winter of 1859, Michael Faraday, a famous English scientist (see p. 827, Jones and Atkins, Molecules, Matter and Change, 4th ed.), gave several lectures centered around the chemistry and physics of a candle! Faraday would tell his listeners:
In burning a candle one starts with a solid fuel (wax), which is liquified, rising up into the wick by capillary action to be vapourized in the atmosphere, and then quickly oxidized by the candle flame. In burning, the candle produces energy in the form of heat and light. The burning process is a simple organic chemical reaction represented by the following equation: