The Beauty of Flames

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The flickering yellow and orange flames most of us are used to thinking of are rather different from the flames researchers study. In this video, the Beauty of Science team offers a short primer on different flame shapes studied in combustion, including laminar, swirling, and jet flames. Each has its own distinctive character and may be advantageous or not, depending on the application for the flame. A laminar flame, for example, is steady, which might make it a good choice for something like a Bunsen burner, where consistency is needed. Whereas a turbulent flame is better capable of mixing fuel and oxidizer, which is key in applications like rocket engines, where that mixing can be a limiting factor in the engine’s efficiency. (Image and video credit: Beauty of Science)

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