Science Questions

Sun, 18th Dec 2005

Part of the show The Coriolis Effect and Christmas Questions for Dr Chris

Question

Peter asked:

When you put wood on a fire, why does some wood spit and crackle while other wood burns slowly and quietly?

Answer

There are a couple of reasons for this. It's usually to do with how dry the wood is. What splits the wood apart is the expansion of pockets of water vaporising as the wood gets very hot. The expansion is like its own mini explosion.

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