# Pencil on Fire

#### Electricute a pencil

Burning Pencil Informal Lab Report by Matthew K Chak

Purpose: See if a 12V 1A power source can successfully burn a pencil.

Hypothesis: If we were to connect the ends of a pencil to a 12V 1A power source, then it will burn the pencil.

Theoretical Background: Graphite, the material used in pencils, is a form of crystalline carbon found in metamorphic and igneous rocks. It is also extremely heat resistant. Graphite forms under extreme heat and pressure. In order to form graphite, 75000 PSI and temperatures of 750 C (1382 F) must be exerted. When we connect the power supply to the pencil, the energy moves through the pencil. This causes the molecules to move around and produce heat. We can then calculate the amount of heat exerted using the formula Q=mc(delta)T, where Q is heat in joules, m is mass, c is specific heat, and t is temperature ((delta) T is change in temperature). The energy we released should have been enough to burn the pencil.

Materials and Equipment:

• Pencil
• Gloves
• Sharpener
• Tweezers
• Paper
• Something to record your observations with
• Power source

Procedure:

1. Sharpen both sides of your pencil