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.
Model release not required. Property release not required.