Comment on "What is the hottest part of a flame?"

Hello Straight Dope Team!

This is my first posting, nice to be with you!

I just read the above-mentioned article and saw the graph that accompanies it.
In the article the answer given is that the hottest part of the flame is near the base,
which in the graph is the magenta curve. Seeing the graph, though, it seems that at
a distance of 0mm from the center, i.e. on the axis of the flame, the temperature at
the tip is actually greater. It seems that only at about 5,5mm from the center the
temperature at the base actually becomes greater. Given that (at least in my mind)
the tip and base of a flame are on the axis, couldn’t it be said that the tip is actually
hotter? (thus vindicating Damien who had to endure two months of laundry? :slight_smile: )

Could you please provide some additional explanation?

Thank you,

I am sorry for not including the URL, I was too caught up in my question and read the Forum Rules afterwards. The URL is:

What is the hottest part of a flame?



I think the difference you are seeing is just definition. If we are answering the question where does the highest temperature occur, period, then it works out, from the graph and research accompanying it, to be away from the tip - the only places where 2000K is exceeded in fact are out at +/- 7mm. I think you are looking at it from a different frame of reference. At the centerline of the flame the tip temperature is higher than the base, but out at the edge of the base the temperature is higher. Note too that I made a comment in the article as to where the greatest heat concentration was (at the tip), so let’s make sure we aren’t confusing that issue somewhat.

Yes, your explanation about heat was clear.
As you said, I guess it depends on one’s point of view; I considered the tip and
base to be two points on the centerline, which might be too restricting. Maybe it
makes more sense to talk about areas in a radius around the tip and base, in which
case the base area is hotter.

Yes, there are just several ways to look at it.

And hey, welcome to the message board!