MadSci Network: Physics

Re: Can you build a bonfire on a frozen lake without extinquishing it?

Date: Sun Feb 25 18:59:24 2001
Posted By: Renafaye Norby, Faculty, Science Education, Black Hills State Univ.
Area of science: Physics
ID: 981662972.Ph

You are on the right track. If the bonfire were hot enough enough heat 
would radiate downward from it to melt the ice. Of course that depends on 
how deep the ice is as well. Therefore the simplest answer is yes you can 
build a bonfire on ice. The fact that heat tends to rise means that the ice 
is less likely to melt. to completely answer this question, it would be 
necessary to compute the total amount of heat generated by the fire, and 
relate this to the amount of heat required to melt one unit of ice, and 
multiply that by the volume of the ice the bonfire is burning on.  Of 
course the next question is, why build it on the ice? If you build it on 
ice, presumably you have to carry the firewood farther!

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