Garage Science Blog

Dark Flames

Mon, 28th Sep 2009

What you Need

If you put metal salts into a flame they can glow bright colours, copper salts glow blue or green, strontium red, barium green, and one of the brightest and most common is sodium which glows bright orange.

Sodium Chloride in a flame

Sodium is so good at emitting light that it is used in streetlights to emit the same orange light. They work by essentially passing a spark through low pressure sodium gas, which gives the atoms energy and causes them to glow very brightly.

If you put a sodium flame in front of a streetlight, something rather fascinating happens.

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