Chemistry of Fireworks

882 WordsMay 10, 20134 Pages
The Chemistry of Fireworks A firework is an incendiary device or material that can be used for signaling or entertainment. There are chemicals located in the nose of the rocket that explode, producing the colors seen. Fireworks were originally created for the purpose of entertainment and today they are still widely used in celebration to mark special occasions. The thrill and excitement generated by fireworks, brightening the night sky and immersing it with vivid displays of color and technicality, is what makes them a crowd pleaser. But behind all the excitement of fireworks, chemistry plays an important role in creating the vivid colors we witness lighting up the sky. The actual chemical reactions that take place in the explosions…show more content…
The way that metal ions react when exposed to heat is the principle behind color production. Each metal ion produces a specific color (see table). The color is produced when the electrons in the metal ions are "excited", causing them to jump to a different energy shell. It is when the electrons return to "ground state" that they emit their own light. Color | Name | Formula | Blue | Copper acetoarsenate | C4H6As6Cu4O14 CuCO3, CuS, CuC2O4 | Turquoise | Copper(1) chloride | CuCl | Yellow | Cryolite | Na3AlF6 NaHCO3, NaNO3, NaClO4 | Pink | | CaCO3, CaSO4, CaC2O4 | Red | Lithium carbonate | Li2CO3 | Brilliant red | strontium carbonate and strontium nitrate | Sr(NO3)2 SrCO3 | Green | Barium carbonate | BaCO3 Ba(NO3)2, Ba(ClO3)2 | Bright green | Barium chloride | BaCl2 | Purple | Sr and Cu compounds with calomel (deepens colour) | | White | Mg and Al compounds | | The social significance of fireworks in today's society is to provide a means of nighttime entertainment. In addition, the principles of fireworks and pyrotechnics have been applied for uses within industry, search and rescue and for warfare. From its humble beginnings as firecrackers, the development of this technology has evolved to see spectacular colors and a wide range of different types. As fireworks evolve, the chemistry that goes into making them must also

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