How to make magnesium fireworks
Perform this experiment in sunglasses and in a well-ventilated area. Observe caution when working with fire. The bright flame produced as magnesium burns can be harmful to eyes.
Reagents and equipment
- magnesium powder;
Sprinkle magnesium powder on a burning candle. Enjoy the white, firework-like sparks!
Magnesium powder is made up of very small particles. In contrast to a large piece of magnesium, these particles’ size allows them to be surrounded by a large quantity of oxidizing molecules (in this case, oxygen and nitrogen). This allows them to burn easily in the candle’s flame, forming magnesium oxide and magnesium nitride.
2Mg + O₂ = 2MgO
3Mg + N₂ = Mg₃N₂