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IBD Chemistry Flame Test Practical

Aim: To test and observe the colour(s) emitted by various metal salts when placed and heated in a Bunsen burner. Hypothesis: I think that for each different substance heated, a different coloured flame will be emitted. Apparatus: (See attached sheet) Method: (See attached sheet) Results: Name of salt: Sodium Chloride Nickel Chloride Copper Chloride Calcium Chloride Barium Chloride Potassium Chloride Strontium Chloride Lithium Chloride Substance X Substance Y Substance Z Chemical formula: NaCl NiCl CuCl CaCl BrCl KCl SrCl LiCl Flame colour when Charge metal: heated Bright orange Brown/orange Dark green/blue Dark orange/red Light green Purple/light orange
Very deep orange/red

Na+1 Ni+2 Cu+2 Ca+2 Ba+2 K+1 Sr+2 Li+1

Dark orange Light orange Dark green/blue Very red/orange deep

Discussion: The results clearly demonstrate the fact that compounds with varying electron configurations emit varying colours/hues of light. It is apparent that elements with similar electron configurations emit similar flame colours Ca and Sr are elements which are vertically adjacent in the second group and both produce similar flame colours (dark orange/red). These results confirm my hypothesis and are expected considering what we have covered in class.

Jason Wright | IDB Chemistry | Flame Test Practical | 16/02/11

IBD Chemistry Flame Test Practical

This is because from our research we have discovered that when an atom is excited, its electrons jump to higher energy shells and upon their return (to ground state) the electrons emit a specific frequency of light. This is once again demonstrated in the results from this practical. As, every salt tested contained a different metal and thus, elements with varying electron configurations explaining the practical results. Evaluation: This practical is relatively simple and works well however, there are some issues that arise. Firstly, by using a (moist) wooden toothpick to hold the salt means that is when the salt is heated in the Bunsen burner, the wood often catches of fire. In doing so, the wood emits as yellow flame (due to the specific electron configuration of wood molecules). This flame obviously conflicts with the flame(s) that are emitted from the attached salts and can make it difficult to observe the true colour of the original salt. In order to correct this issue, the salts could be heated inside a translucent container (for example, a test tube) where the flame emitted could still be clearly observed without the conflicting flame of the wood. In terms of safety, this practical does pose some safety risks. Firstly, as with all practicals involving Bunsen burners, fire is a major issue. The hot flames produced by the Bunsen burner could easily burn individuals who are not careful and the presence of flammable gas poses a risk of explosion if mismanaged. Conclusion: In conclusion, this practical is appropriate in demonstrating the principle of emission spectra in a visual and interactive manner. The theory of atomic emission spectra is clearly demonstrated by through this practical with various salts producing varying displays of coloured flames when emitted. Jason Wright.

Jason Wright | IDB Chemistry | Flame Test Practical | 16/02/11