Ever wondered the science behind those glow in the dark effects? Pyrotechnics are nothing but the art of creating the firework display. The Chinese invented fireworks around 960AD which are now the part and prestige of every celebration across the world. The gears behind the brilliant colours and designs are a fusion of chemistry, physics and mathematics. People all over the world enjoy the tremendous booms of crackers, however, for science, these are the mass of powerful chemicals and fuels mounted together and calibrated to produce specific designs and colours.
The aerial magic of colours in the sky is the result of the explosion of a firework shell, with packed stars that are propelled to the air. The shell consists of gunpowder which is a mixture of charcoal, sulphur and potassium, in a paper tube with fuse installed to spark the tube. The outer cylinder is made of plastic or metal, where the gunpowder is filled with bottom of stars. The stars, in different shapes like cubes, spheres, cylindrical are nothing but the compounds that create colour and effects. The multiple fuses which ignite upon charge control the delay in time of the explosion.
The chemical makeup has a specific recipe for each colour with the deliberate addition of metallic compounds during the manufacture of stars. The pre-defined sculpting and mixing of stars emits specific colours and explodes to the sky with vibrant colours. The intensity of burst charge, the strength of the shell and the size of the stars is the foundation for the width of the display.
The elements like calcium emit less energy and correspond to the brilliant orange with a longer wavelength. The mixture of Strontium and copper with its oxides and carbonates has violet hues, which is the most difficult one to create. Barium compounds have green shades while crimsons and corals from Lithium compounds. Technological advancements made it possible to create multiple hues canvas capturing millions to the show.
The mineral collection seems to baffle at first, however the passionate mineral lovers graduate quickly in the search for the treasures lying under the earthen layers. Every mineral collection is unique and it’s the personal interest lies with the collector. Before collecting, tap those abundant literary resources, read mineral publications, create a network with masters of rocks. The next step would be the choice of land to start collecting. Safety first followed by permission to access the place. Plan a short visit to some museums or international shows on Mineral exhibitions to see the natural beauty in front of you. Identify your interest and what you look into the field really matters.
Some of the tools that help the collection is as follows. The Estwing prybar and crack hammer are the pre-requisites on every field trip. The more heavy the hammer, the larger the size of the specimen you have in your cart. Then safety within the woods is important as there is the probability of losing your path when it is dark. Mobile maps and GPS can sort you only to a limited extent due to the selective signal availability of the service providers. They cannot capture signals in the mountains or lower horizons. Procuring an altimeter reduces the scene, the pressure sensor and LCD display indicates the altitude and weather conditions.
An internal frame backpack is the most suited carriage for all your specimens. It not only holds in large rocks but also balance the weight through the hips, that enable us for an easy walk. Perspiration and dehydration due to heat often turn down the pleasure of your journey through woods. It often wet the clothes and socks. With Coolmax T-shirt and sunglasses gives a more comfortable hike with good vision. Apart from that, the pocket tools and sledgehammer too can assist the trip making it a memorable one.
The close analysis of rocks, sediments minerals and other substances which are invisible to the naked eye are challenging tasks to the field mineralogists. If they are equipped with a portable hand lens, things will go easy and quick. Identification of the rocks and sands, the shape and size and sometimes their design are the common difficulties faced by them. Field trips and observations largely aid to identify the specimen, however, some minute features are often misinterpreted due to lack of a lens or magnifier.
The size and shape of fossils, crystals or even sand can be a hurdle when a large number of specimens is dealt at once. Many field workers use a hand lens and are seen tied around their neck or shirt pocket. There are also other tools that accompany them during their excavations into the dense world of mineral sands. Rock hammer, hand lens, camera, topographic map, field notebook, and Brunton compass are some of the tools that favour a geologist most commonly.
The hand lens is a small portable magnifying glass with a magnification of 10x. It easily slides into the pocket, opens the protected mode when not in operation, preventing scratches and ruins. It is handy, and weightless so as to tie the cord around the neck with a knot beneath the pivot hinge. The Kruss Pocket Loup is the most convenient tool among all glasses. It fits into the pockets, wallets or even in vehicles. It comes with the leather casket and also protected to reserve lens inside a desk drawer or bookshelf. It’s also 10x power glasses which finds application over extensive areas like gemology, jewelry check, printing, coin/stamp collection etc.
The soft leather lanyard from Gfeller is another tool where the lens is attached and can be easily worn around the neck. These help to prevent the risk of loss of keys, knife or lens.