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How to Make a Fireball in a Few Minutes using Household Materials

Updated on March 31, 2013

We have all been taught to never play with fire, but sometimes it's just a little hard to resist. In this article you'll get a quick step by step instruction on how to make a small, and possibly much larger incendiary device with only household items.

First we need to learn about fire, fire is a not actually a state that matter can exist in, rather it is a change of state of matter (usually solid to gas or sometimes liquid to gas), that is an exothermic reaction, so it will give off energy (temperature is that average kinetic energy of molecules, so that's why things get "hotter"). A fire needs three things, initial starting heat, a fuel source, and oxygen. When the initial heat energy strikes the fuel source, it decomposes the fuel into different materials that will combine with the oxygen in the air to produce things like smoke, char (charcoal), ash, and even a little water. The heat the we know from flames comes from the atomic energy of the chemical reactions as the different elements bond with each other, but what make fire so scary is that these reactions are self-perpetuating, so that is why fire will keep going until either the fuel or oxygen is gone.

1) Things you'll need: scissors, paper bag (fuel source), and as many matches (flame) as you want.

2) Then you'll want to take out one match to light the contraption (initial energy), and then cut off the remaining tops, the pink or red parts (called red phosphorus), of the matches, trying to have as little of the paper/cardboard part left.

3) Take your paper bag and cut it in half, or as big as you need, but keep the bottom half and a little to use as a top. Then place all of your match tips in the bag (I used 80 small match-heads).

4) Finally twist up the top of the bag, and watch it burn! The reason that these match heads make a large flame is that the match heads have a high "flash point", the peak temperature that the match head will reach on ignition. While the flash point is high, the actual flame is because the heat of the phosphorus burns the paper bag more completely, making the desired large flame.



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