When Particles Collide
The interactions between colliding particles in chemical
reactions, such as those found in fireworks, are emphasized
in this unit using cars, marbles and marbles.
Video program cues: 5:35 10:50
The chemistry of fireworks
"Fireworks, on a chemical level, are
a combination of oxidizers and fuels. The oxidizers form
a free form of oxygen when energized or when heated, and
the fuel creating the burn rate of reaction in a pyrotachnic
chemical reaction. Examples of oxidizers that we may use
are potassium nitrate, which is used as black powder; potassium
perchlorate is another oxidizer which is used, because it
is very energetic and it is utilized in the noise-making
devices that you see. Some examples of fuels, like sulfur
that we use in black powder. We use also some metals: some
metals give us the twinkles, they serve also as fuels with
different types and sizes; they can also be utilized as
fuels. We can look at a fuel, such as aluminum or titanium,
and you look at the particular size; our ability to get
to this particular micron size gives us the ability to control
the burn of this material. Chemistry is extremely important
for us, to be able to continually refine that, and gives
us the ability to create new and exciting effects."
Dr. Phil Grucci
Grucci Fireworks, Inc.
Colliding particles demonstration
Irene Walsh presents analogies to collisions between particles,
and to reaction mechanisms.
Novak, I., (1998)' Probability of Collisions, 'Journal
of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, pp: 852.
Marzzacco, C.J. (1998)' An Analogy to Help Students Understand
Reaction Orders, 'Journal of Chemical Education,
Vol. 75, No. 4, pp: 482.
Wong, Gareth; Mark, Bernard; Chen, Xijia; Furch, Toran;
Singmaster, Karen A.; Wagenknecht, Paul S. (2001)' Preparation
and Use of a Room-Temperature Catalytic Converter, 'Journal
of Chemical Education, Vol. 78, No. 12 pp: 1667.
to Unit 3.3