Experiment with burning candle at both ends

When a drop of wax falls down on one side, the candle looses its balance and preponderates to the other side. There the flame grazes the candle, so that a drop of wax falls down also on this side. Candle looses its balance again and preponderates back again. So the candle swings until it runs short. This is physics experiment for science project.

Materials needed

  • Candle
  • Match
  • Toothpicks
  • Water glasses
  • Procedure


  • Prepare a candle so the wick may be lighted at both ends.
  • Insert round toothpicks into the candle and balance it on the water glasses as shown in the illustration. It doesn't have to balance perfectly.
  • Predict what will happen if you light both ends of the candle.
  • Light both ends of the candle. Observe for several minutes. What happened?

Think about it. And explain what happened the best you can. Share your ideas with PSC Science Forum


Activities with fire or heat should be done only under close adult supervision or as a teacher demonstration.

Scientific reason

When the candle is lighted at both ends, the end tilting downward will burn wax away more rapidly and become lighter. When it tilts up, the other end will be down, and it will burn wax away more rapidly. As this process continues to reserve, the candle will rock back and forth, often quite vigorously.

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Abdul Rauf

Teacher, Innovator, Love to create, explore new ways to view & imagine things and then make them real

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