When atoms of elements are heated to high temperatures, some electrons may absorb enough energy to allow them to move to higher energy levels. This excited atom is unstable, and the electrons quickly return back to their positions of lower energy or their ground state. As the electrons return to their ground state, the energy that was absorbed is given off in the form of visible light. The color of this light can be used to identify the elements involved. In a flame test, the element will give off a characteristic color that serves as a simple method of identification of that element. In this lab, students will conduct flame tests of several known elements, and then will try to identify an unknown element by its flame test.
Please Note: This lab is also sold in a bundled product contain 14 "must-do" physical science and chemistry labs. View the bundled product here.
Materials Needed: Bunsen burner, wood splints, beakers, calcium nitrate, barium nitrate, strontium nitrate, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, lithium nitrate, copper nitrate, and cobalt glass.
Your download will include handouts that are ready to be copied and passed out to your students. Handouts include: Title, Purpose, Introduction, Materials, Safety Precautions, Procedure, Analysis Questions, Student Data Pages, Answers to all Questions, and Teacher Preparation Notes.
You receive both an editable Word document and pdf form of the lab. You can choose to have your students write up their own lab report, or the student can use the enclosed student data worksheets.
Amy Brown - Science Stuff