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Why do flames rise?

Why do flames rise instead of going down or to the sides?
Branden from Stockton on Tees (Aged 5-14)

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One Response

  1. When things get hot the molecules that they are made of spread out more. Solids are made of tightly packed molecules, liquids more loosely packed, and gases are really spread out. If you take water for an example, when it’s really cold it is a solid – ice – when it’s warmer its a liquid, and when you heat it it turns into a gas. If you took the same amount of space, like a cubic centimeter, and measured the number of molecules you would find there were many more in the solid and many less in the gas. Fewer molecules means it’s getting lighter so will rise.

    So, in answer to your question, flames are made of very hot burning particles so because they are hot their molecules are spreading out and will rise and not fall.

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