Recent Sightings Recent sightings: The science of fireworks

June 29, 2009

Photo of professor Bassam Shakhashiri on the Memorial Union Terrace, a ball of flames in front of him.

Chemistry professor Bassam Shakhashiri ignites a gas-filled balloon during a free demonstration about the science of fireworks held at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Memorial Union Terrace on June 28, 2009. The outreach event, led by Shakhashiri and others from the Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy, explored the chemistry used to create the colors, shapes, light and explosive heat that combine to create fantastic firework displays such as the city’s Rhythm and Booms that occurred later in the evening.

Photo: Jeff Miller