• Question: Why do things turn black if you burn them?

    Asked by kamilo12 to David, Jonathan, Ou, Pete, Sam, Amylou, Faye, John, Tess on 28 May 2012. This question was also asked by spacenut.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 28 May 2012:

      Not everything will turn black if you burn it. During the burning process, substances are separated out into simpler compounds; if the substance contains compounds that have carbon in them, then the carbon will be left over after burning. Carbon is black, which is why things look black at the end!