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RHYS LEWIS & MINH TAN PHAM, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS & MINH TAN PHAM, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Match head reaction. Close-up footage of red phosphorus and potassium chlorate being struck with a hammer. This is the reaction that takes place when striking a match head. The heat generated by the hammer's impact causes a small amount of red phosphorus to be converted to white phosphorus, which ignites spontaneously in air. This triggers the decomposition of potassium chlorate to give oxygen and potassium chloride. The white fumes are phosphorus pentoxide (P4O10).
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