44.4 MB (44.0 MB compressed)
3916 x 3960 pixels
33.3 x 33.5 cm ⏐ 13.1 x 13.2 in (300dpi)
JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Performing a flame test (orange) on a sodium compound. A flame test is a simple way to test for the presence of certain metals in a compound. A small amount of the sample is placed on the end of a platinum wire and held in a Bunsen flame. Some metals can be detected by the colour of flame produced. The colour of the flame is caused by the fluorescence of the metal ions within it; the compound is ionised by the heat and the excited metal ions give out light of a characteristic wavelength or colour. A platinum wire is used as it does not give a flame test colour of its own.
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