Liquid nitrogen can't freeze fire, but it
can put out a fire. The reason liquid nitrogen
can put out the fire may be surprising; It's not
because it's cold, but rather because it smothers
the fire, preventing the fire from getting enough
oxygen to continue burning.
You can't freeze fire because fire is made
mostly of heat and light, which come from tiny
glowing hot particles. You can't freeze heat or
light because they are energy and not matter.
The particles are matter, but they are usually
so small that you can't see them with your eyes.
You only see the light that they give off. This is
the case for a clean-burning fire, like the one on
a gas stove-top.
It's possible that for a VERY sooty fire, with
large burning particles, you'll see some particles
fall after pouring the liquid nitrogen on it. They
fall because they cool off and no longer get
lifted up in the hot air of the fire. Sometimes
this happens naturally after a volcano or forest
fire. Big particles of wood burn and rise during
the event, only to settle down again after cooling
to create a blanket of soot.
Click Here to return to the search form.