When I start to spin the garbage can the center the fire created the perfect fire tornado. It all starts with the heat from the flame that causes the surrounding molecules of air to rise. Couple this with the rotational motion of the screen and you have the perfect storm, so to speak. The rotating screen gives the air molecules an initial spin (called angular momentum). The vertically rising hot air molecules collide with the rotating screen, and the angular momentum of the screen is transferred to the rapidly rising air molecules, giving them a “twist.” Fresh air fuels the fire from the bottom, and the flames twist into the shape of a tornado.
WARNING! ADULTS ONLY!
This demonstration write-up is provided for educational purposes only and should only be performed by properly trained adults demonstrators. In other words, if you’re a kid and you want to see this in action, bookmark this page and share it with your teacher or adult.