Informative Essay On Fireworks

908 Words4 Pages
Morrison, Haley
Chemistry, Period 5
Due Date: November 17, 2017

Every 4th of July, many people go out at night and spend hours watching firework shows. Most of us are content to simply enjoy the pretty colors and sparks, without questioning the chemistry behind the spectacle, but have you ever really thought about how fireworks produce such vibrant colors? The colors emitted when a firework explodes come from an aerial shell inside the firework that contains explosive chemicals and metallic salts. These colors appear to us because of luminescence. Luminescence occurs as a result of the valence electrons in the metal salt atoms moving and changing positions. The explosion of fireworks is not a miracle; it’s simply chemistry at work.
When we see fireworks explode, what we’re actually seeing is the explosion of components inside the aerial shell. The aerial shell is made up of gunpowder and stars, small lumps that are comprised of fuel, an oxidizing agent, a metal-containing colorant, and a binder. These stars are what give the fireworks their colors. (De Antonis, pg 8). The metal-containing colorant produces the color when it’s exposed to a flame (in this case, the ignition of the gunpowder) then the fuel and oxidizing agent combine to create a chemical reaction that yields powerful heat and gas (De Antonis, pg 8).The binder holds all these ingredients together when the firework explodes. When the fuse at the bottom of a firework is lit, the energy propels it upwards until

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