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In a candle, when wax is molten and cools after. It sticks to the glass surrounding it, why does this happen?

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  • $\begingroup$ Don't know a lot about it myself, but if you want to search, the phenomenon is called wetting. $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Feb 16 at 16:39
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The molecules that make up glass are populated with oxygen and hydrogen atoms and those of the wax are populated with hydrogen atoms. Weak hydrogen bonding is therefore possible between the hydrogens in glass and those in the wax when they meet; in essence, the wax looks a little like glass to the glass molecules and the glass looks a little like wax to the wax molecules, and you get a mild attractive force between them. That bonding is relatively weak, so it is possible to break it by prying the wax loose with a butter knife.

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  • $\begingroup$ When you say hydrogen bonding, did you mean "between the hydrogens in glass and oxygen/nitrogens in the wax" rather than "those in the wax"? $\endgroup$ – Isky Mathews Feb 17 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ I mean between glass and wax. $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Feb 17 at 17:53

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