Incandescence Agents of Explosive Aerial Shells (Fireworks)

Topics: Fireworks, Gunpowder, Rocket Pages: 2 (545 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Incandescence Agents of Explosive Aerial Shells (Fireworks)
The history of fireworks goes back to the Chinese Han dynasty, estimated around 200 B.C. It is first believed that original firework was a ‘firecracker’ that was made of chunks of green bamboo, which someone may have thrown onto a fire when wood became low. The rods hissed and after a while unexpectedly exploded. This phenomenon led to human fascination to recreate this experiment which ultimate led to the development of gun powder. Roger Bacon, a Franciscan monk, became one of the first Europeans to study gunpowder as well as publish it. He revealed that saltpeter was the force behind the alarming sound of firecrackers and discovered a way of purifying the natural mineral. His favorite material to harvest was charcoal, from which he had taken from the remains of a willow tree. As his publication grew, societies adopted fireworks into future traditions. Around the 1600s, settlers brought fireworks over to the Americas, where they continued to be used to celebrate special occasions. The very first 4th of July celebration was in 1777, only one year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Fireworks continue to evolve from the ‘original bamboo firecracker’ to what is seen today as aerial shells. Today, the aerial shell contains a cylinder and a lift charge. The lift charge is a bag that's full of powder that explodes when ignited. Aerial shells that are used in firework displays by professionals can be as small as 3 inches in diameter or as large as 24 inches in diameter. They're expected to rise approximately 100 feet for every inch they are long. For example, a 3-inch shell will rise at least 300 feet before exploding. As fireworks continue to evolve, chemist has determined that different metallic ions give off different colors, potassium chlorate (KClO3) burns faster and hotter making colors deeper and brighter, and that the ‘light’ that is given off is in the form of incandescence...
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