Thursday, 11 March 2010

Colours in Fireworks...

Do you remember the various colours that were generated by burning different chemicals in the science lab at school? The Chinese have been making fireworks for thousands of years and they applied the same principal to their firework displays.

The bright white sparks come from the burning of metallic dusts such as magnesium, iron, and aluminum. The other colours come from other chemicals like:

* reds - strontium compounds
* yellow - sodium
* orange - calcium chloride
* green - barium
* blue - copper

"All of these compounds are extremely chemically reactive, so they cannot simply be stuffed into a rocket and left sitting around waiting to be lit. Instead, various proprietary compositions are formed into pellets that react when heated to form the compounds needed for the various colors."


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