Candles are subject of last Adams State free faculty lecture on December 3


The last Adams State College Faculty Lecture Series for the fall 2008 semester is "Michael Faraday's Christmas Candle Lectures," by Dr. Marty Jones, professor of chemistry, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, in Porter Hall (the science building) room 130.

In 1848, as part of the Royal Institution of Great Britain’s Christmas Lecture Series, which continues to this day, Michael Faraday presented a lecture entitled "The Chemical History of a Candle". During the Christmas Holidays of 1860-61, Faraday reprised this topic and expanded it to a set of six lectures "delivered before a juvenile audience". This series of lectures included many demonstrations which illustrated Faraday's claim that "There is no better, there is no more open door by which you can enter into the study of natural philosophy than by considering the physical phenomena of a candle."

The presentation at Adams State will be condensed from Faraday's Christmas lectures and will thus not include all the original demonstrations. After a brief introduction to Michael Faraday and his contributions to science, you'll learn about the chemical composition of a candle, how candles burn, why candles burn brightly, the identity of the products of the candle's combustion, and how the burning of a candle relates to our own bodies. Come prepared to participate in a few hands-on candle activities.

The talks is free and the public is invited. Complimentary light refreshments will be offered. For further information on the series of lectures, contact Dr. Robert Astalos, assistant professor of physics, at 719-587-7821, or by email: