27 April 18: The many colours of chemistry

A while back, I once wrote about the excitement I felt when I discovered in a school chemistry lesson that alkali metals burn with coloured flames. I often think of chemistry when it’s bonfire night and I’m watching the sky break out into a million colours caused by chemistry (as a kid, blue and purple explosions weren’t that common – “More orange and white?!” I remember thinking – but thankfully this seems to have changed). Yesterday I read about fluorescent lights and how, although we call them ‘neon lights’, neon only accounts for only one of the colour types – red-orange. Other noble gases account for the other colours: for example, argon lamps are lavender blue and xenon lamps blue-green. Oh colour, how I love you *sigh* You teach me so much.

Martha, The Colour File x

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