Terms and Definitions

Flame Test- A procedure used in chemistry to find certain metal ions. It involves introducing a sample to a flame and observing the color that appears. The flame test is a test for determing the identification of the element. It is based on the observation of the color of light emmited.
Flame Test(Another link)
Infared- Radiation that is nonvisible to the human eye but can be sensed as heat. Opposite to ultraviolet light, it contains the lowest amount of energy within a light source. It is named infared for the color that it releases when used in a flame test.
Ultraviolet light- A form of radiation not visible to the human eye. It contains the highest amount of energy within a light source. Its name is deceiving because the light is blue and not violet.
Fire-(See link)
Fire- The chemical reaction that occurs when oxygen is exposed to enough heat that it would cause a rapid loss of electrons.
Emission Spectrum- The amount of electromagnetic radiation of each frequency it emits when heated or excited
Figure 1. Flame Test Procedure
N/A, N/A. "N/A." 13 Dec 2006 http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/c/ce/200px-Flame_test.JPG

Figure 2. Light Source Energy Spectrum


Helpful Images and Illustrations file:///d:/my/20documents/Science/Flame/20Test/20pic/201.gif external image image003.gif Figure 3. Lithium Chloride Flame Test Figure 4. Cupric Chloride Flame Test Figure 5. Cupric Chloride, Selenium Chloride, Arsenic Chloride, or Indium Chloride Flame Test Figure 6. Barium Chloride Flame Test Figure 7. Sodium Choride or Stronium Chloride Flame Test N/A, N/A. "Flame Tests." 12 Dec 2006 <http://www.brynmawr.edu/Acads/Chem/gchemlab/103/Expt6week2_files/image003.gif>. Both fireworks and flame tests emit light due to the reaction of a certain ion.
external image 6a4356c97fe16b0ad0a469f0352a58a97b7f9fd2.jpg
Figure 8. One of the Uses of Flame Tests.
For more on firework chemistry click here
Chemical Used
Color Produced by Chemical
Figure 8. Aluminum Chloride || No Color
Figure 9. Boric Acid || Pale Green
Figure 10. Calcium Chloride || Yellow-Red
Figure 11. Colbalt Chloride || No Color
Figure 12. Copper Chloride || Bright Green
Figure 13. Lithium Chloride || Carmine Red
Figure 14. Magnesium Chloride || No Color (Sodium Impurity)
Figure 15. Magnesium Chloride || Pale Yellow-Green
Figure 16. Sodium Chloride || Bright Yellow Orange
Figure 17. Stronium Chloride || Scarlet Red
"Colors of Elements in a Flame." Chemistry Comes Alive!. 1998. 12 Dec 2006 <http://jchemed.chem.wisc.edu/jcesoft/CCA/CCA2/MAIN/FLAME/CD2R1.HTM>// citation for pictures and colors Table 1. Use the recordings above to listen to exactly what has been placed on the table. The first recording explains about the table. The second recording goes from Aluminum Chloride to Colbalt II Chloride. The third recording goes from Copper II Chloride to the end of the table.flame_nerd
Figure 18. Flame Test Guy! By: Caitlin Mcguire A link to further explain Chemical Coloration

Problems with Answers

What causes metal atoms to emit light when heated?
A metal atom emits light when it is heated because the electrons jump to a higher energy level. When the electrons fall back to a lower energy level, they emit wave lengths. Wave lengths correspond to a color in the emission spectrum, and that color is the color that is emited when the atom is heated.

How do you perform a flame test?
To perform a flame test, you will need a wire, usually of platinum or nichrome, a concentrated hydrochloric acid, a bunson burner and the compound that is being tested. Then you need to have safety goggles to protect your eyes. Then you clean the wire by soaking it through the hydrochloric acid and running it through the flame. After the cleaning, put the wire in the compound. After that you put the wire in the fire and watch the flame for results. Usually the flame will emmit a different color or become a deeper red/orange. The flame will usually get bigger when putting the compound in the flame.

Why are different colors emitted for different compounds?
It all depends on where the electrons are located within the atom, for each energy level allows the electrons a different amount of energy. The electrons jump to different energy levels, emitting energy. This energy is released in the form of light, in this case the colored light. Afterwards the light disperses into the air.

Why do you have to clean the wire before you use it for a flame test? And in what do you clean it in?
The wire has to be cleaned before it is used because if any chemicals remain on the wire from previous tests, the reaction of the chemical being tested will be differed. It could also be dangerous mixing two different chemicals together. The wire is cleaned in hydrochloric acid, which is a strong acid.

What kind of compunds are most common in a flame test?
The compunds that are the most common:
-Lithium Compunds ex. Fg. 15 (a lithium atom with some other atom)
-Sodium Compunds ex. Fg. 18 (a sodium atom with some other atom)
-Copper Compounds ex. Fg. 14 (a copper atom with some other atom)
-Potassium Compunds (a potassium atom with some other atom)

What is fire and how does it relate to the flame test?
You use different elements for different colors and for the flame test you do the same!
"How to make Fireworks and FIreworks chemistry in action." Fireworks Usage. 6 Dec 2006 <http://www.fireworks.com/safety/chemistry-fireworks.asp>.
Visit Fireworks Site

Interactive Resources, etc.

-Flame Test Quia Quiz
Click on the link above to go to a quiz made by Sydney Branson
-Flame Test Word Search
Click on the link above to go to a activity made by Sydney Branson
-Flame Test Hangman
Click on the link above to go to a activity made by Sydney Branson
-Practice Flame Test
Click on the link above to go to a quiz made by Rachel Lockyer
-Flame Test Word Jumble
Click on the link above to go to a activity made by Rachel Lockyer
-Flame Quiz
Click on the link above to go to a quiz made by Marisa Sotolongo

Movie 1: Flame Test Illustration