The Match

When a match is struck, friction supplies the match-head with sufficient heat energy to enable the chemicals to react and, because the rate of heat production by the reaction is greater than the rate of heat loss to the environment, they burn with a flame. If a wind blows away the heat or the chemicals are moist and friction does not raise the temperature sufficiently, the match goes out; properly ignited, the heat from the flame raises the temperature of a nearby layer of the matchstick and of oxygen in the air adjacent to it, and the treated wood and oxygen react in a combustion reaction. When equilibrium between the total heat energies of the reactants and the total heat energies of the products (including the actual heat and light emitted) is reached, combustion stops.

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