Rapid combustion is a form of combustion, otherwise known as a fire, in which large amounts of heat and light energy are released, which often results in a flame. This is used in a form of machinery such as internal combustion engines and in thermobaric weapons. Such a combustion is frequently called an explosion, though for an internal combustion engine this is inaccurate. An internal combustion engine nominally operates on a controlled rapid burn. When the fuel-air mixture in an internal combustion engine explodes, that is known as detonation.
Combustion of a liquid fuel in an oxidizing atmosphere actually happens in the gas phase. It is the vapor that burns, not the liquid. Therefore, a liquid will normally catch fire only above a certain temperature: its flash point. The flash point of a liquid fuel is the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mix with air. It is the minimum temperature at which there is enough evaporated fuel in the air to start combustion.
Hoards of Armorican coins have been excavated, providing evidence of trade and contact in the Iron Age period. Evidence for Roman settlement is sparse, although evidently the islands were visited by Roman officials and traders. The Roman name for the Channel Islands was I. Lenuri (Lenur Islands) and is included in the Peutinger Table The traditional Latin names used for the islands (Caesarea for Jersey, Sarnia for Guernsey, Riduna for Alderney) derive (possibly mistakenly) from the Antonine Itinerary. Gallo-Roman culture was adopted to an unknown extent in the islands.
In the sixth century, Christian missionaries visited the islands. Samson of Dol, Helier, Marculf and Magloire are among saints associated with the islands. In the sixth century, they were already included in the diocese of Coutances where they remained until reformation.
The islands were inhabited by Britons, who also inhabited Wales, south west England and nearby Brittany having moved away from invading Anglo-Saxons. From the beginning of the ninth century, Norse raiders appeared on the coasts. Norse settlement succeeded initial attacks, and it is from this period that many place names of Norse origin appear, including the modern names of the islands.
The Norman language predominated in the islands until the nineteenth century, when increasing influence from English-speaking settlers and easier transport links led to Anglicisation. There are four main dialects/languages of Norman in the islands, Auregnais (Alderney, extinct in late twentieth century), Dgrnsiais (Guernsey), Jrriais (Jersey) and Sercquiais (Sark, an offshoot of Jrriais).
Victor Hugo spent many years in exile, first in Jersey and then in Guernsey, where he finished Les Misrables. Guernsey is the setting of Hugo's later novel, Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea). A "Guernsey-man" also makes an appearance in chapter 91 of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.
The annual "Muratti", the inter-island football match, is considered the sporting event of the year, although, due to broadcast coverage, it no longer attracts the crowds of spectators, travelling between the islands, that it did during the twentieth century.
Cricket is popular in the Channel Islands. The Jersey cricket team and the Guernsey cricket team are both Associate members of the International Cricket Council. The teams have played each other in the Inter-insular match since 1957. In 2001 and 2002, the Channel Islands entered a team into the MCCA Knockout Trophy, the one-day tournament of the Minor counties of English and Welsh cricket.
Channel Island sportsmen and women compete in the Commonwealth Games for their respective islands and the islands have also been enthusiastic supporters of the Island Games. Shooting is a popular sport, in which islanders have won Commonwealth medals.
Guernsey's traditional colour for sporting and other purposes is green and Jersey's is red.
The main islanders have traditional animal nicknames:
Guernsey: les nes ("donkeys" in French and Norman): the steepness of St Peter Port streets required beasts of burden, but Guernsey people also claim it is a symbol of their strength of character which Jersey people traditionally interpret as stubbornness.
Jersey: les crapauds ("toads" in French and Jrriais): Jersey has toads and snakes, which Guernsey lacks.
Sark: les corbins ("crows" in Sercquiais, Dgrnsiais and Jrriais, les corbeaux in French): crows could be seen from the sea on the island's coast.
Alderney: les lapins ("rabbits" in French and Auregnais): the island is noted for its warrens.