Learn how “Holy Smoke” is made!

When the papal conclave votes for a new pope, the public knows whether or not a decision has been made by the color of smoke coming out of the conclave room in the Sistine Chapel. White smoke means a pope has been chosen and black smoke means the results were inconclusive. The difference in the color of each smole is related to how much oxygen is in the carbon molecules that are burned- the more oxygenated molecule (lactose) burns white, and the less oxygenated molecule ( anthracene) burns black.

 

Smoke Images are from National Geographic News and Mediaspanonline

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