How fast does fire travel?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Stryder, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. chroot Crackpot killer Registered Senior Member


    Yep indeed. There are two modes of flame propagation: deflagration and detonation. Deflagration is synonymous with what you'd call "burning," where the reaction front moves slower than the speed of sound. Detonation occurs when the reaction front moves faster than the speed of sound.

    Interestingly enough, the topics of deflagration and detonation have become important recently in the understanding of supernova explosions.

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    - Warren
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  3. RDT2 Registered Senior Member

    Yes indeed, in an atmospheric fire, the availability of oxygen would be a factor.


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  5. RDT2 Registered Senior Member

    Cheers, Warren. That's why I said 'chemical explosions' (which I sort of did for 20 years in the British Army). But, being of that frame of mind, I'd love to read about really big explosions. Have you a reference?

    Cheers again,

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  7. GundamWing Registered Senior Member

    From the physics standpoint, Warren is on the ball; but he's a physicist what do you expect? From a neuroscience stand point -- so far most of it is 'hogwash'. Potassium channels and ion conductance within a nerve cell have nothing to do with how fast 'heat' propagates through the body. Heat is not transmitted by nerves what-so-ever. Heat is transmitted through ALL tissues. Nerves carry impulses at well known velocities depending on which tracts are sustaining the action potentials (most likely using the A-delta and C-fiber tracts to the pain centers in your brain which is the 'experience' of pain heat). The actual 'heat' itself propagates as the physics says in a tissue medium. The experience of 'heat' and 'cold' are psychophysical phenomena, not physical phenomena. Psyhchophysics is the term in neuroscience for the "perceived" qualities of physical phenomena such as temperature as "heat" and "cold". This is how you know how "hot" or how "cold" is relative to something else. This is the subjective feeling of "heat" we are familiar with.

    peace. :m:
  8. On Radioactive Waves lost in the continuum Registered Senior Member

    I'd like to point out on the subject of explosives, that the exothermic energy release is generally less than a rugular "fire" but happens very quickly. That why a small amount of fuel, such as some wheat dust can cause a big explosion such as a silo explosion, when quickly combusted.

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