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Eva Natinsky 10/12/12

Flame Test Lab


PURPOSE: Using an elements spectrum, learning how the electrons move around in the atom. Also, learning how someone could use the spectrums of the elements to identify an unknown.

PROCEDURE: Using a scoopula, place a small amount of the metal salt solution into a clean petri dish. Add about an eye-droppers amount of methanol, into the petri dish (using and eyedropper). Allow the metal salt to dissolve for a couple seconds, then light the mixture with a match. Wait until the color of the flame changes from the color of the methanol (which is a lighter blue) before recording the colors with a spectroscope. Repeat these steps for other metal salts.

EXPERIMENTAL DATA: METAL: Lithium Strontium Calcium Copper Sodium Potassium UNKNOWN IDENTITY: Barium FLAME COLOR: Red Orange, red Orange Purple, green, red, orange Pink Red, orange 2 blue, 2 green, 2 yellow, 3 orange, 6 red INTENSITY: Faint Bright Faint Bright Medium Bright Bright

GRAPHS AND CALCULATIONS: There were no graphs and/or calculations required for this lab.

Eva Natinsky 10/12/12

CONCLUSIONS: Excluding Copper, all of the metal salts spectrums only contained one or two colors, and the colors in the spectrum did not vary much from the color seen with the naked eye. To clarify, if someone saw the color without a spectroscope, then looked through the spectroscope, it would make sense to them that the metal salt had that spectrum. Lastly, as the energy of the light decreased, so did the intensity. There were no exceptions to this observation.

POST-LAB QUESTIONS: 1) List the colors observed in this lab from the highest energy to the lowest energy a) Purple, green, pink, orange, red 2) List the colors observed in this lab from the highest frequency to the lowest frequency a) Purple, green, pink, orange, red 3) List the colors observed in this lab from the shortest wavelength to the longest wavelength a) Purple, green, pink, orange, red 4) What is the relationship between energy, frequency, and wavelength? a) Frequency and energy increase in the same direction on the spectrum (from red to violet), whereas wavelength increases in the other direction (violet to red). The reason for this is that, as the wavelength gets shorter, more waves cross a certain point per second (which is frequency), and because of that there is more energy crossing that point at one time. 5) Do you think we can use the flame to determine the identity of unknowns in a mixture? Why or why not? a) Yes, because if we know the spectrums and what elements they belong to we can record the spectrum and use that to identify the unknown. 6) How are electrons excited in this part of the experiment? What does it mean when the electrons are excited? a) When electrons are excited, it means that they have gained energy, and therefore jumped to a higher energy level. b) The electrons are excited when the mixture is set alight. 7) Explain why we did not see distinct lines (like on an emission spectrum) when the metal salts were burned a) Because there were other elements in the metal. The salt, for one, and the methanol. 8) Why do different chemicals emit different colors of light? a) Because they have different kinds of energy stored in them. 9) Why do you think the chemicals have to be heated in the flame before the colored light is emitted?

Eva Natinsky 10/12/12

a) To excite the electrons, so that when the electron loses energy again, energy will be emitted in the form of light. 10) Colorful light emissions are applicable to everyday life. Where else have you observed colorful light emissions? Are these light emission applications related? Explain. a) The Northern Lights. If the elements in the air are reacting with each other and exciting their electrons, so that they emit energy, then yes they are related.