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Name: Trista
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
What happens to the electrons when a substance is vaporized in a flame?


Replies:
Ms. Lindstone,

As you know, in chemical reactions matter can be neither created or destroyed. When a substance is "vaporized in a flame" it doesn't disappear. Thermally excited electrons are simply raised to higher energy levels from which they fall back when the excitation potential is removed. Some such electron transitions are responsible for the fire-works like colors emitted when compounds containing sodium, potassium, strontium, barium, lithium, copper, etc. are heated in a burner flame.

Regards.
ProfHoff



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