Objective: The student will investigate what happens to carbon when it unites with other substances.
Materials: A candle and a piece of metal
Do This: Hold the metal or a can lid in the flame and it is soon covered with soot. Why?
Here’s Why: The flame heats the wax of the candle, producing from it carbon, water and several other substances. When the candle burns undisturbed, the carbon unites with oxygen from the air, producing colorless carbon dioxide. But if the flame is cooled by the metal, much of the unburned carbon, which cannot unite with oxygen at a reduced temperature, is deposited in the metal as soot.