10.9 C
London
Friday, March 31, 2023

The science of fireworks colors explained

Must read

Torrent Investments Not Participating in 2nd Auction for Reliance Capital; Hinduja sole bidder

Torrent investments reportedly informed lenders Trust Capital that it is not willing to participate in the auction to sell the financial services company.This is...

Boys Planet Episode 9: Patience, Practice and Collapse! “Artist Battle” brings the best! WATCH

Boys Planet Episode 9: Patience, Practice and Collapse! "Artist Battle"...

What You Don’t Know About DreamDoll: From Bronx to Billboard

Who is DreamDoll?American rapper, social media star and TV personality Tabatha Robinson – also known as DreamDoll – was born in New York City,...

The Untold Truth of Jussie Smollet’s Mother

• Janet Smollett is a mother of six children, including actor Jussie Smollett. • She was an active member of the American civil rights...
Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

By Paul E. Smith 3 minutes Read

In the earliest days of the United States, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, on the celebration of independence: “It should be celebrated from one end of this continent to the other with pageantry and parade, with performances, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, forever and more.” “Bonfires and lighting” refer directly to what we know today as fireworks and fireworks.

I am a chemist and also president of Pyrotechnics Guild International, an organization that promotes the safe use of fireworks and uses it here in the US to celebrate Independence Day and other festivals throughout the year. As a chemist and someone who leads demonstrations for chemistry students, I consider fireworks to be a great example of combustion reactions that produce colored fire. But the invention of colored fireworks is relatively recent and not all colors are equally easy to make.

Early history of fireworks

Firecrackers were first accidentally invented by the Chinese in 200 BC. But it wasn’t until a thousand years later that Chinese alchemists developed fireworks in the year 800 AD. These early fireworks were mostly bright and noisy concoctions designed to deter evil spirits — not the colorful, controlled explosions we see today. Fast forward another millennium, and the Italians discovered how to add color by adding different elements to the flammable mixture. Adding the element strontium to a colored pyrotechnic mix creates a red flame; copper, blue; barium, green; and sodium for yellow.

Too much or too little of the chemicals will cause significant changes in the temperature and thus in the wavelength of the color being perceived. The right mixture of chemicals, when ignited, produces enough energy to excite electrons to give off different colors of light.

While the chemistry of these colors isn’t new, every generation seems to get excited by the colors splashing through the air. We now have a wide variety of flame colors: red, green, blue, yellow, purple and variations of these.

Each color works the same way. When different elements ignite, they give off different wavelengths of light, which translates into different colors.

Making that perfect blue fireworks

Not all colors of fireworks are equally easy to make. I believe some of my colleagues in pyrotechnic research and development agree with me: blue is the hardest color to produce

That’s because the evening sky has a blue tint, which means that most shades of blue are not very visible. If you try to brighten the blue to contrast with the background, it may appear faded. The right balance of copper and other chemicals in the flame or combustion reaction produces the best blue flame color in fireworks.

I took this into account when creating the best flame blue color, which I call pillbox blue. It’s just bright enough to stand out against the night sky, but still a rich blue. I have over 20 blue pyrotechnic formulas and I have found one that comes very close to this elusive shade.

Another difficulty in creating an intense blue color is that the chemistry is not simple. It requires a combination of several chemicals and the element copper. When copper ignites, the electrons surrounding the copper atoms are excited and activated in the flame. When the electrons release this energy, it appears as blue light to observers. Each color works the same way. When different elements ignite, they give off different wavelengths of light, which translates into different colors. So when you see blue colored points of light creating a pattern in the night sky, you see really excited electrons releasing energy as blue light.

Paul E. Smith is a college chemistry demonstrator at Purdue University.

This article was republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article

Contents

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Torrent Investments Not Participating in 2nd Auction for Reliance Capital; Hinduja sole bidder

Torrent investments reportedly informed lenders Trust Capital that it is not willing to participate in the auction to sell the financial services company.This is...

Boys Planet Episode 9: Patience, Practice and Collapse! “Artist Battle” brings the best! WATCH

Boys Planet Episode 9: Patience, Practice and Collapse! "Artist Battle"...

What You Don’t Know About DreamDoll: From Bronx to Billboard

Who is DreamDoll?American rapper, social media star and TV personality Tabatha Robinson – also known as DreamDoll – was born in New York City,...

The Untold Truth of Jussie Smollet’s Mother

• Janet Smollett is a mother of six children, including actor Jussie Smollett. • She was an active member of the American civil rights...

Garie Concepcion- Wiki, age, height, net worth, husband

Garie Concepcion is a famous Filipino singer, actor and presenter. She is known for her work on some of her most famous songs,...

Contents