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The Chemical History of a Candle

The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday
By: (1791-1867)

Michael Faraday's "The Chemical History of a Candle" is a fascinating and insightful exploration into the scientific principles behind one of the most common everyday objects. Faraday's writing is engaging and easy to understand, making complex scientific concepts accessible to readers of all levels.

Throughout the book, Faraday takes readers on a journey through the various chemical reactions and processes that occur when a candle burns. He delves into topics such as combustion, the composition of a candle, and the role of oxygen in the burning process.

One of the standout features of the book is Faraday's ability to use everyday objects and experiences to illustrate complex scientific principles. He encourages readers to think critically about the world around them and to develop a deeper understanding of the natural processes that govern our daily lives.

Overall, "The Chemical History of a Candle" is a thought-provoking and informative read that will appeal to anyone with an interest in science or a curiosity about the world around them. Faraday's passion for the subject shines through in his writing, making this book a must-read for anyone looking to expand their scientific knowledge.

Book Description:
The Chemical History of a Candle is a series of 6 lectures on chemistry presented to a juvenile audience in 1848. Taught by Michael Faraday - a chemist and physist, and regarded as the best experimentalist in the history of science - it is probably the most famous of the Christmas Lectures of the Royal Society.

Taking the everyday burning of a candle as a starting point, Faraday spans the arc from combustion and its products, via the components of water and air (oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon), back to the type of combustion that happens in the human body when we breathe.

The final lecture "On Platinum" describes a then new method to produce large quantities of Platinum. It was delivered before the Royal Institution on February 22, 1861.

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