How well do you remember this extremely important part of high school chemistry?
Posted on September 9, 2015, at 8:13 a.m. ET
When you place a compound in a flame, the flame will change colour depending on the metal ion present in the compound.
You can use the colour of the flame to work out what metal you have in your sample. This can be very handy if you're a crime scene investigator, or a high school chemistry student trying to pass an exam.
Fair warning: Three of these are very subtly different shades of red. I'm sorry. I don't make the rules of chemistry.
Also referred to as orange-red, or yellow-red.
Usually described as a persistent orange, or "intense yellow" (if you're Wikipedia).
A deep red with a very slight purple tinge.
This one's pretty conclusively called "lilac".
This one depends on the particular copper ion, but most are described as blue-green or green-blue.
Another red! This is called "scarlet" or "crimson", but it's basically just very red red.
Pale green, also sometimes called "apple green". It's more yellow than the blue-green of copper.
Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
Contact Kelly Oakes at email@example.com.
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