Chemistry in Fireworks Essay

2372 WordsJun 4, 201410 Pages
Fireworks provide the public with spectacular and mesmerizing explosions that leave the audience in awe, but how do they work? The art of fireworks first originated in ancient China, where the very first firework or firecracker were bamboo shoots filled with gun powder. They were exploded at the start of a new year to scare away evil spirits. Today, modern fireworks are still used in celebrations to mark special occasions. However, throughout the years the mechanics of how fireworks are made slightly became more advanced. Now, they are composed of oxidizers, fuel, reducing agents, colouring agents, and binders, all the components that are responsible for creating the vivid display of colours in the night sky. In the future, it is more beneficial that chemists and pyrotechnicians find a way to reduce the risks and dangers related to fireworks so people can enjoy the thrill and excitement without the associated hazards. The history of fireworks goes back thousands of years to China during the Han dynasty (200 B.C.), even long before gun powder was invented. It is believed that the first firecrackers were likely chunks of green bamboo, which someone may have thrown into a fire when dry fuel ran short. The rods sizzled and blackened, and after a while, unexpectedly exploded. This was due to the fact that bamboo grows so fast that pockets of air and sap are trapped inside of the plant. When heated, the air inside the hollow reeds expands, and eventually bursts through the side. People realized that the strange sound, which had never been heard before, frightened people and animals terribly. The Chinese figured that if it scared the living so much, it would probably scare spirits as well, particularly evil spirits. After this, it became customary for them to throw green bamboo into fire during Lunar New Year in order to scare evil spirits away. This new discovery

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