Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What energy is being transformed to heat when you burn a candle?

share|cite|improve this question

This would be chemical energy that is converted to heat. The heat from the wick melts the wax which gets absorbed in the wick and then gets burnt (which is really oxidation) to produce heat energy.

share|cite|improve this answer
""The heat from the wick melts the wax "" Nonsense! The heat conduction by the fabric of the wick is much too small! The wax is molten by radiated heat (IR) ! ""the wax which gets absorbed in the wick"" another nonsense, look up meaning of "absorbed". – Georg May 21 '11 at 9:57
Thanks for the clarification. You are right -- its radiated heat. I learned something from you, bow in your general direction, and stand corrected. – Sai May 21 '11 at 15:16
@Georg: remember that being right doesn't entitle you to be rude ;-) – David Z May 22 '11 at 2:46
@David: Thanks. Anyway I learned something and got a chance to use a Monty Python reference. So not complaining :) – Sai May 25 '11 at 1:23

The energy transforms from chemical energy to heat and light energy. Because when the candle burns a chemical reaction occurs, and produces heat and light.

share|cite|improve this answer
Not an explanation – JQK Mar 17 at 0:20
You need to provide more detail about what happens in a chemical reaction. – Bill N Mar 17 at 3:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.