The vast majority of people may well have heard a firework ‘whistle’ but never asked what creates the sound.
We all know that they make beautiful images in the sky but digging deeper, I was surprised with the results of my findings.
Like most people I was under the impression that the noise was created wholly by the position of the holes or vents in the firework tube, but, it appears that this is not necessarily the complete story. Although some of the sounds may be as a result of the construction, for the most part, it is the salts in the firework composition which will make the sound. Potassium Benzoate is the Potassium salt of a Benzoic acid which is also used as a food preservative as it inhibits the growth of some mould’s, yeasts and bacterium. When the oxidiser and the Potassium Benzoate burn’s, a layer at a time, it emits the gases produced in spurts creating the whistle effect and a rather pretty pink hue.
Check out below 12 x Mini Missile barrages all set of simultaneously – that’s 2700 shots fired in 50 seconds – get the ear defenders ready 🙂
Have you ever wondered how fireworks work, well we found the perfect infographic called ‘Beyond the Boom’?
The firework infographic looks at the up and coming 4th July celebrations and explains mind-boggling facts, for example, did you know that the American firework industry makes nearly $1 BILLION annually.
It also dissects a firework to show how they work in the night sky, how high they go, the different speeds and the performance of the different sized shells.
Another interesting aspect is the breakdown of some of the biggest and amazing fireworks displays around the USA like Macy’s firework spectacular.
The video below by Dr Nikolay Gerasimchuk, who is a professor of chemistry at Missouri State University, explains a little more about the chemical reactions of propellants and explosives inside fireworks.