MadSci Network: Chemistry

Subject: Burning Candle Experiment

Date: Mon Apr 27 05:17:41 1998
Posted by Sean Hunt
Grade level: teacher/prof
School: The Sultan's School
City: Seeb State/Province: Muscat
Country: Oman
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 893672261.Ch

Here is a question sent to New Scientist by two children (28 March)

 We have tried the experiment taught by science teachers, in which a candle standing in water is covered by an upturned glass.
 The candle goes out and the water level rises in the glass. 
We are taught that the rising water level is caused by oxygen being consumed by the burning candle.
 However, if we have four candles burning under the glass instead of one, the water level rises much more. Why?
I have repeated this experiment and am surprised to find this is true.
Is it something to do with the solubilities of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide?

Re: Burning Candle Experiment

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