Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Chemistry of Fireworks

Chances are you saw some fireworks this weekend; felt the thump of the sonic booms as the dizzying array of colors lit up the night sky. If you missed them, here’s a short clip of my view of the fireworks on the National Mall.

If you’re the science-type, you probably know that the types of metals in each of the fireworks is what makes them appear different colors – but what chemicals are making what colors?

So based on the table above, what chemicals do you think were in the fireworks Ryan and Alissa saw on the 4th of July?

Ryan's view from Antietam Battlefield in Maryland.

Alissa's view from Gahanna, Ohio.

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