Fireworks chemistry.

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, I found this handy, dandy little table of fireworks chemistry (scroll down):

Chemistry of Firework Colors

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:

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2 Responses to Fireworks chemistry.

  1. Catherine says:

    Oh, I’ve done this experiment – with a science demonstrator – I agree it’s fascinating.

  2. theexplorationstation says:

    Thanks for the comment. This video makes me want to take a chemistry class again!

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