BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
High-voltage discharges and inorganic salts. Footage of a high-voltage generator being used to produce electrical discharges onto various inorganic salts, with the colour of the resulting glows depending on the chemical composition of the salts. The inorganic salts are placed on a piece of aluminium foil. The normal colour of the sparking electric arcs is purple, resulting from ionisation of molecules in the air. The first inorganic salt to be subjected to the high-voltage discharges is calcium chloride, resulting in a red-orange glow. This is followed by a green glow from magnesium chloride, and a yellow glow from barium chloride.
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