History of Chemistry


How can a fire be started with a piece of flint?

Almost everyone has seen a movie character start a fire using a piece of flint, but you may wonder how this is possible. Flint is a hard stone that can produce sparks when it is struck against a metal, such as steel. The sharp edge of the flint breaks off a small splinter of steel, which is heated significantly by the friction from the strike of the flint. As this splinter of hot steel reacts with oxygen in the air, a spark is produced. The sparks generated in this way can then ignite a piece of dry wood, paper, or other fuel.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Chemistry Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App