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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What causes different colors in flames?

In the flame, electrons get excited and pushed to higher energy levels by the heat energy. When they fall back down, they give off photons of light of different colors, based upon how far they fall. Different temperatures cause electrons to jump to different levels, but different types of atoms also have energy levels that are different distances apart. Thus putting copper into a flame causes a green glow because electrons on the copper atoms are falling and jumping exactly the right distance to emit or absorb photons of the frequency we see as green