How do fireworks work?

Fireworks are a very ancient invention but they continue to capture the fascination of all, young and old. Fireworks are used to all around the world even to this day to celebrate and to capture the attention of people. The question which puzzles many people is that how to fireworks work? In this post, we would be going into the details of fireworks.

How do fireworks work?

firework diagram

Fireworks are small guided missiles into the air which explored and produce light and sound. Fireworks can sure be of plenty of different types but when you say the word fireworks most of the people would imagine the fireworks that light up the sky. These can be of plenty of different types like rockets on wheels but the basic working principle of the fireworks remains the same. First let us look at the different parts of the aerial fireworks.

1. Tail: When you first hold a real firework you would notice the long tail of the firework because this is pretty long and it is actually a significant part of the total size of the firework. It can be wooden or plastic stick. This part of the firework controls the direction of the firework when it is travelling through the air and it also lets you know how you have to place the firework while lighting the firework.

2. Fuse: this part of the firework ignites the firework to actually produce the light which we are all so fascinated by. The fuse can be a small fabric in a small firework which you light or if you’re speaking about the complex firework which is displayed in public then it can be in the form of electrical connections as well. When it is manual ignition in the form of applying fire to the fabric or to a piece of paper you would have to do it manually from a much shorter distance where is when you’re speaking about electrical ignition with the help of electrical fuses you can do it from a considerable distance and therefore it is much more safer as well.

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3. Charge: this is the actual explosive in the firework which propels the firework towards the sky and and with the help of the inclination of the tail it makes the firework travel at a much greater speed and sometimes at a speed which is equal to that of a jet fighter. In most of the situations gunpowder is used as the crude explosive. The explosion usually takes place at a much greater height in the air. Gunpowder which is used in the fireworks consist of 75% of potassium nitrate and 15% of charcoal and 10% of sulphur. The mixture can very a bit depending on the nature of the firework.

4. Effect: this effect is what you see in the air when you’re lighting up a firecracker. Depending on the type of the firecracker there can be a single effect which would lead to a single display of light and sound or there can be multiple effects as well which continue for a longer period of time. These days there are also fireworks which have a time delay effect which acts just like a fuse to delay some of the effects so that you see some of the effects sooner and some of the effects later. The effects or the actual fireworks which you see in the sky and the light which you see in the sky is produced by the effects in they also use the explosives but these are much different than the charge which we have explained above. Depending on the nature of the firework the type of explosives which can be used for the actual effects can be changed because sometimes you might have seen the light in the form of the start severe as some other times you might have seen them in the form of a just single explosion and therefore these explosives are according to the nature of the firework. If there are multiple effects then there is always a predetermined sequence to ensure that the light and sound are produced in a visually appealing manner.

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5. Head: the effects which we have mentioned above are stored in the head of the firework. This is the part of the firework which is at the top of the firework. Usually the shape is in the form of the nose to ensure that it is aerodynamic properties to propel the firework in the air.

Science behind fireworks:

fireworksNow that we are familiar with the part of the fireworks at this time to actually understand the signs which is behind the fireworks. The explosives or the charge which is present in the fireworks contains a potential energy and this potential energy can be activated only with the help of the heat energy which is applied with the help of the electrical ignition or the manual ignition and along with the presence of oxygen in the air this results in the spectacular display of fireworks which we have seen plenty of times till now.

You might be wondering that how come different fireworks depot different colours in the sky as well and that is a scientific process as well. Different metal compounds emit different kind of lights when applied heat and that is the reason that in order to give a particular colour to a firework got to produce a particular colour of light specific metal compounds are used so that when heat energy is applied to them in the form of small explosions they display a certain colour. For example, sodium compounds usually display the yellow and green colour.

For the moment of fireworks that is the propulsion of the fireworks up into the air, the third law of motion is applicable that is to each and every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you’re applying the manual ignition when you’re applying the electrical ignition the charge which is they are burns and because of this burning there are cases which are released from the charge and you to these forces of the gases which are released the firework travels in the opposite direction which is in the upward direction. It is same in principle as a rocket engine.

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If you have looked at the fireworks in the sky closely you would realise that when the firework travels and actually explodes it produces almost symmetrical number of light in its left direction as well as in its right direction and this is due to the conservation of momentum which states that the moment which is they are in the firework before the explosion should be the same as the momentum which is they are in the firework after the explosion and that is where the explosions which are visible in the form of the light energy are symmetrical in nature.

Another law which is applicable to the working of the fireworks is that of law of conservation of energy, it states that the energy which is released from the firework in the form of heat, light, sound and the tiny dick energy for moment should be the same as the energy which is stored in the firework before ignition. This is done by balancing the charge in the firework as well as the effect which is they are in the firework according to the type of fireworks which you need in the air.

This is how our favorite fireworks work, which we all are fascinated by.