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The science of fireworks explained: Chemical reactions at 1,000 feet
The science of fireworks explained: Chemical reactions at 1,000 feet

All across the country, Americans will wrap up their Fourth of July celebrations by watching the sky light up with fireworks. If you’re going to be one of them, you have chemistry to thank. Fireworks displays have become increasingly sophisticated and spectacular, but the chemical reactions that make them possible are pretty basic, according to John Conkling, an adjunct chemistry professor at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and past executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Assn. Conkling literally wrote the book on fireworks -- it’s called “Chemistry of Pyrotechnics: Basic Principles and Theory,” and it was first published in 1985. As Conkling explains in the video...

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