Spectrometer Analysis and Burning Ion Solutions
Grade Level: 10th to 12th; Type: Physical Science/Chemistry
In this experiment you will use a spectrometer to analyze the patterns of light emitted by burning ion solutions.
- Why do different elements emit different patterns of light when burned?
- Is it possible to identify an element by the pattern of light it emits when burned?
- Fireworks come in a multitude of colors. Compare and contrast the creation of fireworks with the burning of elements. Are they the same or are they different?
- Bunsen burner (see safety precautions in references below)
- 5 splints of wood
- Spectrometer (see directions for use in references below)
- 5 ion solutions: Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cs+
- An assistant
- Dab a splint of wood into an ion solution.
- Have an assistant hold the splint of wood in the flame from the bunsen burner so that the ion solution burns.
- While the ion solution burns, quickly use the spectrometer to analyze the colors emitted.
- Repeat steps 1-3 with the other four ion solutions.
Terms/Concepts: spectrometer, ion, element, bunsen burner
- Bunsen Burner Safety Precautions: http://www.wpi.edu/offices/safety/bunsen.html
- Usage of the Spectrometer: http://www.starlab.uk.com/Spectrometer/Spectrometer.htm
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.