Have you ever been at a concert with pyrotechnics or a fireworks show and wondered how so many impressive colors, shapes and sizes are produced? Most everyone is in awe of the brilliant explosions created in these thrilling displays. Behind the beauty and excitement of a good fireworks show are centuries of scientific development and art! Up until the 1830’s the only colors produced were the orange flash from black gun powder and white sparks from metal powders. It was in southern Italy where they first began to began to play with some of the scientific advancements in chemistry and create different colors.
Nowadays, there is just about any color combination imaginable. Differences in color come from varying temperatures of hot, glowing metals and the light emitted by burning chemical compounds. Chemical reactions are what burst them in to different sizes and shapes. The combination of colors, shapes, sizes and all the right timing makes firework displays a true art and a science all it’s own!