Click of the Wrist – Snap, Crackle, Pop

With the holiday weekend here, chances are you’ll be viewing a large-scale fireworks display?or shooting off a few in your backyard (local by-laws permitting!). Fireworks can be magnificent from a distance, but what are they like up close? This week’s links check out the science behind the colourful explosions?

Colourful Chemistry

What does a firework look like inside? What makes it explode mid-air? What causes different colour combinations? A pyrotechnic expert gives the full lowdown on fireworks and chemistry in this LiveScience video.

Ready to Go

Sure, we all know that chemical reactions cause the explosive displays in fireworks shows. But what lights the firework?and keeps it going up several hundred feet in the air? This video segment, from PBS? NOVA, explains.

Elements of a Show

It’s easy to gloss over the long lists of chemical elements present in fireworks. Instead, check out this interactive periodic table: it highlights which elements are crucial to firework creation, and explains how and why they’re used.