The magic and secrets of building fireworks

by Andrew Schneider on July 3, 2012

We have all stood and watched fireworks turn the blackened summer sky into a palette for wonderful colors, sounds and motions. Many of us have often wondered how they get the pyrotechnics to explode at the right altitude and display the specific colors the fireworks designer desired.

Every year I try to run something on Cold Truth that stands a chance of answering some of these questions.  Today, thanks to the American Chemical Society, I offer you a video of Prof. John Conkling from Washington College in Chestertown, Md. Conkling, the author of “The Chemistry of Fireworks” and one of the nation’s top pyrotechnics experts, offers some of the secrets that provoke the cries of “awesome” across the country on the night of July 4th.  Here is a link to the professor’s secrets.

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