FIRE: The Beacon of Humanity
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What is fire? Is it solid, liquid, or gas? What role does the fire play in us becoming humans? What is the connection between fire and humanity? Amongst humanity's greatest inventions, fire still remains as important today as in the time of our ancient ancestors. The course of human evolution took a giant leap when man first tamed the fire. The use of fire by humans has long been linked to their higher intelligence, separating them from other animals. Control of fire also allowed early hominids to cook their food, obtain warmth, allowing them to shed body hair and in turn run faster without overheating; to develop calmer personalities, enabling social structures around the hearth; and even to form relationships among men and women–in short, to BECOME HUMAN…

Although the exact timing of the discovery and use of fire by humans is still unknown, it has been a subject of continuing research. Combustion processes remain one of the most poorly controlled phenomena that have a significant impact on human health, comfort, and safety. In an effort to improve technologies for current or near-future energy conversion applications, combustion scientists are understanding the chemistry and flow that interacts in combustion. Taking their understanding literally to another level, scientists are ‘firing’ space stations! They are carrying out experiments on fire in space- under microgravity conditions and with no oxygen. Read further to explore the science behind combustion and its future applications…

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