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Boiling Water in a Sheet of Paper.

Nature is publishing a serious of attractive articles on “ Physics without Apparatus.” In the latest number are given experiments for boiling water and melting lead on a piece of paper : Take a paper and fold it up, as schoolboys do, into a square box without a lid. Hang this up to a walking-stick by four threads, and support the stick upon books or other convenient props. Then a lamp or taper must be placed under this dainty cauldron. In a few minutes the water will boil. The only fear is lest the threads should catch fire and let the water spill into the lamp and over the table. The flame must, therefore, not be too large. The paper does not burn, because it is wet; and even if it resisted the wet it still would not burn through, because the heat imparted to it on one side by the flame would be very rapidly conducted away by the water on the other. Another experiment of a similar nature, but perhaps even more striking, is as follows : Twist up the edges of a common playing card or other bit of cardboard, so as to fashion it into a light tray. On this tray place a layer of small shot or bits of lead, and heat it over the flame of a lamp. The lead will melt, but the card will not burn. It may be charred a little round the edges, but immediately below the lead it will not be burned, for here again the lead conducts off the heat on one side as fast as it is supplied on the other.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 277, 24 February 1881

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Boiling Water in a Sheet of Paper. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 277, 24 February 1881