Ever wondered how fireworks make the colours that keep eyes glued to the sky?
Well, we thought we’d translate they scientific explosion into laymen’s terms for you, a typical firework is made up of a fuse or a number of fuses and fuel, to make it explode the fuel is typically a powder mixture of charcoal, sulphur and potassium nitrate – similar to gunpowder. But the catalyst needed to explode into a rainbow of colours is tiny capsules contacting metal particles. When the firework explodes, the metal particles start oxidizing, which creates heat. The heat is needed to excite the metal particles so they can emit light, this light we see is emitted as colours to our eyes.
Metals used in fireworks today include aluminium, titanium, beryllium, barium, copper, potassium and more. Here's a look at the metals used to produce a specific colour:
* Red --Strontium and lithium
* Orange --Calcium
* Yellow -- Sodium
* Green -- Barium
* Blue -- Copper
* Violet -- Potassium and rubidium
* Gold -- Charcoal, iron or lampblack
* White -- Titanium, aluminium, beryllium or magnesium powders
Which is your favourite?
Date Published: 05 November 2014