eldavojohn writes: As odd as it sounds, candle flames contain all four known forms of carbon. Zixue Su, Yang Zhang and University of St Andrews chemistry Professor Wuzong Zhou have recently published a paper utilizing a new technique that leveraged anodic aluminium oxide films as collectors to actually observe diamond, graphitic, fullerenic and amorphous particles from a live candle flame. The result of a challenge from a colleague that claimed no one knows what a flame is actually made of, Dr. Zhou and his team deduced that around 1.5 million diamond nanoparticles are created every second in a candle flame. Some more light has been shed on how the flame transforms hydro-carbon molecules into carbon dioxide that could pave the way to a new nucleation mechanism for diamond growth and fullerene formation in a combustion synthesizing process.
"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts
most subtly on the human will."
-- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"