Celebrating Fourth of July with Science

Hand holding sparkler in front of American flag

Fourth of July is a day for celebrating America’s independence, but is also a day for watching fireworks, which would not be possible without science!

Read on to learn more about the chemistry of fireworks, their history and a few other interesting science fun facts.

The Chemistry of Fireworks

‘Salt’ as a word conjures up images of the normal table salt you probably use every day; whilst this is one type of salt (sodium chloride), in chemistry ‘salt’ refers to any compound that contains metal and non-metal atoms ionically bonded together. So, how do these compounds give the huge range of colours, and what else is needed to produce fireworks?

Water Fireworks for Kids

Fireworks are a beautiful and fun part of many celebrations, but not something you want kids to make themselves. However, even very young explorers can experiment with these safe underwater ‘fireworks’.

History of Fireworks

Today, fireworks mark celebrations all over the world. From ancient China to the New World, fireworks have evolved considerably. The very first fireworks — gunpowder firecrackers — came from humble beginnings and didn’t do much more than pop, but modern versions can create shapes, multiple colors and various sounds. 

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Fourth of July

From the true story behind the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to some staggering hot dog statistics, here are 10 things you might not know about the Fourth of July.

About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Our researchers work side-by-side with physicians to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
Support our research

Tags: ,
Bulfinch Steps; Dunn Lab Group Photo

Preventing Mental Illness Across the Lifespan: Meet the Team that’s getting it DUNN


5 Things To Know: How Where You Live Can Affect Your Heart Health

%d bloggers like this: