A paper cup is filled with approx 100ml of water and suspended using string from a retort stand. A small tea-light type candle is placed beneath the base of the cup and lit. The water should heat up and eventually boil but the cup will not burn and should remain intact.
Waxed cups should not be used for this demonstration as they may catch fire. Students may think that the heat from the candle will burn the cup but the water draws the heat away from the paper, keeping the temperature below the kindling point of the paper cup.
Equipment typically required (per demo):
Typical technician preparation time: 10-15 mins.
The contents of this page are for information only. Please refer to CLEAPSS, SSERC or ASE safety advice and/or publications before undertaking any preparation, practical experiment or using any equipment featured on this site or any other.