I saw a YouTube video where someone took nichrome wire and took a wall outlet attached to wire and managed to light a whole series of matches. I am assuming his mains was 220V, 50Hz since he didn't have any kind of plug I had ever seen before (so not US plug).
I am not particularly interested in replicating this experiment, but rather though I would have fun doing some calculations on how it works.
Now the resistance he measured was around 300 ohms. I don't know much of how to calculate stuff in AC so it could be everything I did below is dead wrong, but this is what I got so far:
Area under a sine wave from 0 to pi radians is equal to 2, so multiplying that by the voltage of 220VAC would mean there is a total of 440V available to the mihcrome wire during one half of the sine wave. Maybe? Or is this a dead wrong assumption.
And then using (V*V)/R I calculated that there was 645 watts of power (mostly dissipated as heat I would imagine), and given that each half sine wave (counting positive and negative) happens 100 times per second (twice the full wave frequency of 50Hz) then taking 645/100 would leave about 6.45watts or 6.45 joules per second.
I looked online and couldn't find anyway where the activation energy of common safety matches was listed, but I would imagine each match must have an activation energy less then or equal to that created by his nichrome wire and mains setup because those matches lit up very quickly. Does anyone know what the minimum activation energy is aside from like experimenting and playing with a bench power supply until a match finally lights?