The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and
If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.
If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:
In common lore, soot exemplifies all things black, dark and dirty. But without it, fire would not have its warm, yellow glow: Clouds of tiny soot particles within the flame radiate heat, enhancing its brightness. But soot's ability to act as an insulator can feed fire's heat back into itself, exacerbating large blazes in industrial accidents. It helps furnaces efficiently transfer energy to heating pipes, but it wastes vehicle fuel and escapes through tailpipes. Quantifying these effects requires a better understanding of soot's optical properties. Christopher Shaddix and Timothy Williams have attempted to find out just how "black" soot is. They collected soot from controlled fires, examined particles under microscopes and flowed soot-laden gases in front of lasers to measure how much light was extinguished. They have come up with solutions for how much light the particles absorb or scatter and have developed an index of refraction for soot. This could help in the understanding of soot's role in engines or the atmosphere and in gauging the temperature of fires in accidents.
Connect With Us:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.