Banging Chemistry: Fireworks

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In this video, produced by Teachers TV, explosive experts, Dr. Jacqueline Akhavan and Dr. Alex Contini, explain the explosive chemical and physical reactions behind fireworks. Through a series of controlled explosions they demonstrate combustion reactions in fireworks in a way that could never be done in a classroom.

The reactions begin with gunpowder, the basis of all fireworks before moving on to show why many modern stage and TV effects use flash powder instead of gunpowder.

Dr. Akhavan and Dr. Contini change the colour of a firework by adding a metal salt and heighten its effect by adding a whistle and a scream. Finally they open up a rocket to identify and predict what an identical rocket might do when ignited.

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