Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flaming chemicals

Dug out Katie and Ben's first year HE folder of work to hunt down the "firework colours" experiment we did in 2005. We had great fun back then changing the colour of flames to understand how fireworks produce such lovely colours, but we had a gas hob in our old home and now we have an electric hob, which obviously is a problem! Lighting a fire in the snug yesterday it came to my mind that we could use the fire for our experiment, but further reading told me that we needed a blue flame. Lightbulb moment - use the camping gas stove - perfect. We had great fun as this time we not only had kitchen substances to use (salt, boric acid and, if it had been in the cupboard, cream of tartar), but we also had Ben's chemistry set of goodies to use too. Not too sure where I found the original experiment, but I've got it all on my website here (keep scrolling down until you find "Firework Colours") and this site gives you some more info + a list of the colours produced from different chemicals.

Here's some piccies. Best of all was the magnesium which produced a very bright white.

orange from sodium

green from copper

blinding bright white from magnesium - love Ben's goggles!

We also managed lilac (potassium (cream of tartar would make lilac too)) and a sort of red (calcuim).



At 8:59 pm, Blogger HelenHaricot said...

fabulous! i think we will have to have s go sometime


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