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Flame color for selected chemical elements table
Table shows flame colors specific to given chemical elements such as yellow-orange for sodium (Na), red-cherry for lithium (Li) etc.

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BETA TEST VERSION OF THIS ITEM
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However, please VERIFY all results on your own, as the level of completion of this item is NOT CONFIRMED.
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Flame test

Chemical element symbolChemical element nameFlame color
Lilithiumred-cherry
Nasodiumyellow-orange
Kpotassiummauve
Rbrubidiumpink-red
Cscesiumblue-red
Cacalciumbrick-red
Srstrontiumcrimson
Babariumgreen-yellow
Raradiumcarmine-red
Gagalliumpurple-blue
Inindiumbluish
Tltalliumgreen
Bborongreen
Cucoppercyan

Some facts

  • The compounds of some metals evaporate after introducing them to the flame causing the change of its color (i.e. color of flame).
  • Atoms during contact with the flame are excited (they absorb energy) and next, they emit the quantum of light during the return to the previous state (relaxation).
  • The color of a flame is specific to a given element, because it is result of atomic properties.
  • The wavelength of the emitted light results directly from the difference in energy levels. These levels are specific for a given element.
  • The relationship between wavelength and transition energy (differing between energy levels) is as follows:
    λ=hcΔE\lambda = \frac{hc}{\Delta E}
    where:
    • λ\lambda - wavelength of emmited light,
    • h - Planck's constant,
    • c - speed of light,
    • ΔE\Delta E - difference between energy levels (energy absorbed during excitation and emitted during relaxation).
  • Because the color of a flame is specific for a given element, it allows a qualitative analysis, i.e. the identification of whether a given element is in the sample or not (but without specifying the quantity).
  • ⓘ Example: When we disperse a pinch of table salt (NaCl) over the gas stove burner, we notice that when the salt meets the flame, it changes color to yellow. This is due to the presence of sodium atoms.

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