Blazing Blue


Recently our chemistry class learned a lot about different colored flames while being taught how to use Bunsen burners. Adjusting the gas flow made the flames higher or lower, and adjusting the flow of oxygen changed the color. A yellow flame needs more air, but too much air can put the flame out.
A blue (and nearly invisible, especially from afar in a well lighted room) flame is what we’ll mostly be using for experiments.

Well, I was boiling a pot of water, which honestly felt like it took forever but, as they say, “A watched pot never boils.”
We use a gas stove, and my impatience caused me to keep messing with the fire. (Yes, I know, disclaimer: don’t play with fire…) The flames were, like a Bunsen burner, blue, but a significantly more vibrant and visible blue at that…
Well, since I was super impatient and bored and also an incredibly diligent and curious knowledge gathering chemist, I had to look up why my gas stove’s flames were blue. As I found on How Stuff Works’ website:

“In a blue flame, two things are happening. First, the flame is very hot. Second, it is gas molecules that are glowing rather than pieces of soot. Very hot gas molecules glow blue.”

Additionally, we learned today that copper in fireworks burns blue as well. I wonder what Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender is burning…?




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