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spaceSpace and Physics

The Chemistry of Fireworks

author

Stephen Luntz

Freelance Writer

clockJun 30 2014, 13:15 UTC
1374 The Chemistry of Fireworks
Benjamin D. Esham Reflections of Earth fireworks show at Epcot at Walt Disney World

Fireworks are, as Dr John Cockling says in the video below, “chemistry in action”. It takes 18 elements to provide the range of colors we see in a big display. However, while we are all for people finding loud and brightly colored ways to get inspired by science, please take care – injuries are common. We'd also encourage everyone to be sensitive to their neighbors, and particularly pets, whose hearing is often particularly affected by the noise of rockets shooting in air and the loud bangs that follow.

 

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The chemistry of fireworks is astonishingly complex. If the above video just whetted your appetite, here is a, shall we say, slower burning lecture on the chemistry required to put on those displays.

 

 


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