Last night, on July 4th, we were watching the fireworks our neighbors were setting off. Living where we do, it’s pretty easy to get some pretty good fireworks. We have a few neighbors that make quite an investment in them, and this year, we had a lot to look at. My 7 year old daughter asked us how the colors in fireworks are made.
This is one of my favorite chemistry questions. While I don’t have them all memorized anymore, I remembered a few of them, like copper compounds were blue, and strontium salts were red, and bright white light was usually magnesium or aluminum. I ran inside to google search the rest.
Thanks to About.com, I found this handy, dandy little table of fireworks chemistry (scroll down):
And this link about How Fireworks Work
Today, in reading one of my favorite science blogs Growing with Science, I found this awesome YouTube video demonstration of a flame test for different metal salts: