Lycopodium Powder on Water – Science Experiment

Lycopodium powder is a fine yellow powder derived from the spores of Lycopodium clavatum (stag’s horn club moss, running ground pine).  When a lighted match is dropped into a pile of this powder, it does not burn.  However, when the powder is dispersed into a fine mist near a candle flame, it ignites into a spectacular fireball.  This results from an increasing the available surface area for combustion:  when the powder is dispersed into a mist, the particles are surrounded by enough oxygen to support a combustion reaction. You can learn more about the scientific properties of lycopodium powder on the Angelo State University website.

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