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Purpose: Determine the elements used to cause coloration of birthday candles.
First a candle was placed in the sand. Then the candle was lighted. While the candle was ignited the Diffraction grating film was held up to the flame and was measured. The measurements were then recorded. This process was repeated for the different colors of candles. After all data was recorded research was taken place to determine the elements in each candle.
Candle 1: Blue
Candle 2: Green
Candle 3: Orange
Candle 4: Orange-Pink
Candle 5: Red Orange
The sand was very loose and when the candles were being blown out the sand was often blown out of the container.
The candles burned very fast and made observing the flame very rushed. The candles themself had no noticeable smell, however, they were observed from a fair distance.
The candles were noticed to spark every once in a while.
Candle number one was determined to contain the element Selenium. Candle number two was determined to contain the element Phosphorus. Candle number three was determined to contain the element Sodium. Candle number four was determined to contain the element Potassium. Candle number five was determined to contain the element Calcium.
The purpose of the lab was to determine the elements that five different candles contained in order for the candles to burn different colors. Because of the elements each candle contained the candles burned different colors. The elements were found using a color diffractor and the use of a pre-existing database that contained the information necessary to identifying the elements through flame color. To choose which element each candle used, the data was compared to the information held in the database and the closest one to the recorded data was the element chosen.
Because of the methods used in this lab, there are a few flaws it contains. To begin, the lab does not follow the principle number two Atom Economy. This principle states that materials should be designed to maximize incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product. The candles emitted gases that were wasted into the lab area which shows that the lab does not follow this principle. Secondly, this lab does not follow principle number twelve, Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention, which states that substances used in a lab or experiment should be chosen to minimize potential for chemical accidents. This lab uses open flames with no barrier to prevent any members of the experiment from acquiring any burns.
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