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