Chemistry

I’m currently taking a chemistry class and my professor started a demonstration on chemical reactions with flames.  She used about five different elements to create different, unnatural and so perfectly beautiful hues.  As soon as the fuchsia and green flames burst out my first thought was, “I need to capture this on film.”  I set up an appointment and she was more than gracious with letting me fool around and work with the reactions.


The bright pink is created by burning potassium nitrate and copper chloride burns blue and green.  Working with flame is rewarding but frustrating all at the same time.  It’s so alive that it’s hard to get that picture you’re trying to capture.  But int he end, it doesn’t matter because you still create such a great piece of work.  Just start snapping and you won’t be disappointed.

If you want to do your own little experiments with the fire, you can find some things around the house that will change the color. You might have noticed when you start a bonfire that newspaper can often emit colored hues versus cardboard boxes.  Otherwise you can visit a store and find powder colorants that turn flames.  Barium produces a light green; calcium turns brick red, lead will turn ice-blue with white and sodium for orange.  But never use a gas fire, and as always– stay safe!