MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Flame of a candle. Candle flame. Burning candle with dribbles of solidified wax down its sides. A candle consists of a vertical cylinder of wax, such as tallow or paraffin wax, with a central fibrous wick. A flame applied to the end of the wick produces a luminous flame which melts the wax which is then used to fuel the flame. The wick is treated with a substance such as alum so that it carbonises but does not rapidly burn out. Some of the melted wax dribbles down the candle and solidifies as it cools down.
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