The Chemistry Involved in Lighting a Match Is Surprisingly Awesome

Many of you may remember this slow motion video from a little over a year ago. The American Chemical Society has now taken this footage—shot at an astounding 4,000 frames per second—to explain what’s actually happening at the molecular level when a match is struck.

Incredibly, it took the ACS nearly a minute and a half to describe what happens in just one-tenth of a second. As the video rightly points out, “chemistry is fast.”


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Here’s a much slower experiment, the pitch drop.

Roughly 80 years between drops...huzzah.