Fireworks are the result of atomic electrons emitting energy as light. The colorful explosions of light are results of the burning of different metal compounds.
Boric Acid: a weakly acidic hydrate of boric oxide with mild antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It is used to treat cold sores and yeast infections. Boric acid is an odorless white solid. Melting point 171°C. Sinks and mixes with water. Boric acid burned a very light green
Cupric Sulfate, Pentahudrate: Copper sulfate is a sulfate salt of copper. It is a potent emetic and is used as an antidote for poisoning by phosphorus. It also can be used to prevent the growth of algae. Cupric sulfate is a white or off-white solid. Melting point 200°C with decomposition. Non-combustible. It burns a more solid green. With a little blue.
Strontium Chloride: is a salt of strontium and chloride. It is a typical salt, forming neutral aqueous solutions. Like all compounds of Sr, this salt emits a bright red colour in a flame; in fact it is used as a source of redness in fireworks.
- First I labeled the skewers with the different colors for each chemical. Blue for Cupric Sulfate, Pentahudrate. Green for Boric Acid, ACS Grade. Purple for Strontium Chloride.
- Then I diped the skewer into the white glue and rolled it in the measurements of chemicals.
- Next I let it dry.
- Then I lit the candles and added more wick so the flame was bigger.
- Then I timed the length the color of the chemical was burning for, and recorded my data.
What's Going on
Physicists have found that the electrons traveling around the atomic nucleus can have only certain amounts of energy, called energy levels. In other words, the energy levels of atomic electrons are quantized. If electrons gain energy, they can move from one energy level up to a higher level, but these different energy levels are not continuous—they come in discrete steps. This fundamental discovery is known as quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics describes how an atom's electrons interact with electrons of other atoms and with photons.
My hypothesis is that the more chemical on the skewers the longer the color will burn for.
My hypothesis was correct. The more chemical I used the longer the color burned for. There were some troubles though. The boric acid wouldn't stay on the skewers. The powder mixed with the elmer's glue just didn't stick, so the data was a little off for the measurements. One thing I also could of tried was to use a different glue but I didn't know what reaction it would have with the chemicals. The flame was another variable because if the flame was bigger or smaller the chemical would burn faster or slower. After I got everything working ok the data showed that the boric acid overall burned the color the longest but the strontium Chloride had the most color change.
I believed that the more chemical I used the the longer the color of the flame would show up. After three trials with three different chemicals and two different measurements I found that the fire burned longer with the more chemical I used. This is because the more surface area you have it takes longer for the color to burn up. In the end I was correct about my theory.