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Potassium flame test

Potassium flame test

C010/9573

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Potassium flame test. Positive result of a flame test for potassium (K), producing a lilac colour. This is due to the excitation of electrons in the potassium by the heat of the flame. As these electrons lose their energy, they emit photons of lilac light. The colour of the flame is different for different elements and can be used to identify unknown substances. The metal compound being tested here is potassium chloride.

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