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The Chemistry of Christmas

Christmas is all about colour and lights. Colour is the result of the behaviour of particles when interacting with light.This semester, IGCSE students explored flame tests to identify different metal ions, where copper (II) ions gave a green flame, for example. The behaviour of these metal ions is unique and flame colours can be used to identify them. IB students investigated Transition metals and their complex compounds in terms of colour. The KS3 students looked at the idea of using coloured solutions to stain and highlight different cell parts when using a microscope.

In science, colour plays an important role in what we see, to understand behaviour. For this Christmas, as we admire the red, white, green, yellow (gold) or even blue colours, students acknowledged that science and chemistry play a vital role behind the scenes, and one may argue that the big man who delivers presents on Christmas Eve should be referred to as ‘Scien-ta Clause’!

AletaTransitionMetals   AletaCopperFlame   aletaLithiumFlame   AletaSodiumFlame