Video delivers the 'works' on fireworks

Just in time for Independence Day, a new video from the American Chemical Society teaches you the science behind the sparkle.

Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

As your friends and family are "oooh-ing" and "ahhh-ing" over fireworks on the Fourth of July, you can pipe in: "Red is likely produced by strontium nitrate" and "blue is the hardest color to produce pyrotechnically."

That, is of course, if you watch a new video from the American Chemical Society.

As part of the group's "Reactions" series, the video follows a Washington College chemistry professor as he takes you through both the chemical processes that produce the vibrant hues and the physical process that launches the brilliant balls of light.

Armed with this information, you can declare your independence from ignorance this Fourth and illuminate your companions with your knowledge. Either that, or you'll annoy the heck out of them and they'll never take you to another fireworks display again.

About the author

Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for Crave and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.


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