How Are Colors Formed in Fireworks?

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How Are Colors Formed in Fireworks?

These are elements responsible for common firework colors.
These are elements responsible for common firework colors. sciencenotes.org

 Firework colors are produced two main ways. Luminescence is color produced by light emitted from elements and compounds when they are heated. Incandescence is color produced when a metal is heated enough to glow. Most colorful fireworks rely on luminescence, although incandescence works well for gold or silver fireworks.

Firework Colors from Incandescence

Metals can be heated to glow red, orange, yellow, and white. Red-hot color is the coolest, while white-hot metal is the hottest.

Firework Colors from Luminescence

Metals and certain other compounds emit characteristic colors of light when supplied with enough energy. While most elements emit colors, not all elements are appropriate for fireworks because they may be unstable or toxic. Some elements can produce more than one color, depending on the oxidation state. For example, copper may emit blue or green light. Copper(I) is blue, while copper(II) is green. While some elements can be mixed in a firework to give an intermediate color, usually one color overpowers the other. For example, you can't mix copper(I) (blue) and sodium (yellow) to get green because the yellow is much brighter than the blue. It's easier to use an element that produces bright green light on its own, such as barium or copper(II).

Table of Element Firework Colors