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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

How a Spark Plug Functions in an Engine (animation)

Spark plugs control the timing of the chemical reaction inside an engine. If the spark plug ignites too soon, heat from the reaction will be lost to the cylinder walls before it can move the piston. If the spark happens too late, not all of the energy is extracted, resulting in hotter exhaust gas and more heat loss.

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Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions


Produced by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 2014.
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