Green Hot, Red Hot, Blue Hot, Why Not?

The Periodic Table
The Periodic Table

Max, an ARO volunteer, taught the students how different elements created different colors when added to glass.

Borax Beads
Borax Beads

Borax creates a glassy bead when it loses water and crystalline structure.

Reduction
Reduction

The reducing region is found closer to the bottom of the Bunsen Burner where there is less oxygen present.

Oxidation
Oxidation

The oxidizing region is found closer to the top of the flame where there is more oxygen present.

Atomic Arrangements
Atomic Arrangements

The girls changed the atomic arrangement of Borax from crystalline to amorphous by adding heat and removing water.

Different Colors
Different Colors

The girls discovered that the same wires had different colored beads when heated in the oxidizing region vs reducing region of the Bunsen burner.

Green Hot, Red Hot, Blue Hot, Why Not?

      Students heated powdered borax to create lass beads on different types of wire. The girls learned that Borax is a crystalline material that contains a large amount of water. When the girls heated the borax on different metal wire, the water was removed and the borax changed from a crystalline structure to an amorphous material creating a glassy solid.

     Borax, like glass, has the unique ability to absorb other ions during thermal treatments. The students learned that these ions changed the color of the borax just as different elements added to soda-lime glass change its color and appearance when heated. 

      The girls identified the reducing region of the flame as the blue flame closest to the base and the oxidizing region of the flame as the purple flame furthest from the base. Through different borax bead experiments, the young women concluded that the different regions of the flame contained more or less oxygen and resulted in different colored beads.