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Flame Test Demonstration of Atomic Spactra



Salts: LiCl, CuCl2, KCl or CsCl, SrCl2, CaCl2, NaCl and Boric Acid

~700 mL DI Water

Cotton Balls

Crucible Tongs to hold the Cotton in the Flame

Bunsen Burner with striker

Large Beaker to throw the Burned cotton Balls in


Advanced Preparation

Prepare 1M aqueous solutions (~10 mL) of each of the salt samples.  (The salt may not completely dissolve due to saturation).  Place each solution in separate sealed bottles.  Label each bottle.



Wet a few cotton swabs with each solution.  Light the bunsen burner.  Dip one end of the cotton ball in the selected aqueous solution and then put that part of the cotton ball into the fame using the crucible tongs.  Observe the color of the flame produced.  Repeat the proceedure for each of the different solutions , using a new cotton ball for each solution.


Waste Management

Once cool, the cotton balls can go into the trash.