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Conversations around a candle 17-07-2019


Conversations around a candle is a science communication project on combustion, by João Ventura, targeting people interested in science, but not necessarily with scientific training. Hence many subjects are introduced from everyday phenomena familiar to readers, and then explained to them using accessible language.

João Ventura, a member of IN+ and a retired professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, has a huge interest in scientific dissemination, which led him to attend the Master Course in Science Communication at NOVA FCSH, which ended on 17 June with the defense of his manuscrit entitled Conversations around a candle.

Beginning with the chapter What is a candle?, the text refers, as one advances in the description, to other chapters, with topics such as Structure of Matter, Solids, Liquids and Gases, Chemical Reactions, Combustion and Fuels. The various modes of heat transmission, Conduction, Convection, and Radiation, are treated in separate chapters, calling for the prior experience of the reader.

The flame is discussed in some detail in the chapters What is a Flame, The Flame Shape, and The Candlelight. The central part of the book ends with a chapter on Photosynthesis, another on The Air We Breathe and a third entitled Divide to Burn on the combustion of sprays and dusts.

It also includes a set of telegraphic biographies of the scientists mentioned in the text, Micro-Biographies, and a short chapter on Units of Measure.

The manuscript, which is under review for future submission to a publisher, includes references to some videos with small experiences relevant to the subject matter, which can be seen below (for the moment only in Portuguese).