Monday, July 4, 2011

The Science of Fireworks

Sometimes being a lazy mama pays off. Last night, Katie and Maggie were asking SO many questions about fireworks instead of just enjoying the show. So, I gave them assignments today to answer their own questions. Best of all, I got the answers without doing the work.

Maggie's assignment was to find out why we celebrate the 4th of July. She explained, "A long time ago, 13 states fought a war to be independent from Great Britain. And it was a great war. That's why we celebrate."

Katie's was more scientific, to explain how they get the fireworks to be different colors:


Today I’m going to tell you about fire works. Last night I thought you would just have to put paint and food coloring in a firework to make the color but it is a lot more complicated than that. For starters it includes a lot of chemistry and science. Many firework colors are from burning metal salts. The 2 main things in fireworks to produce there colors are incandescence and Luminescence. Incandescence produces colors like red orange and yellow. The hotter it gets the lighter and brighter it gets. So when It turns hot it can be yellow or white.  Luminescence on the other hand makes the fire works green or blue. To make the green fireworks there has to be chlorine in the firework. For blue fireworks there has to be more copper chloride in the firework. For better colors the fireworks have to be more expensive for an example just for the color green there is Barium compounds + chlorine producer barium chloride, BaCI+= bright green that is a lot of stuff in one firework!

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