|MLA Citation:||Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 1391"|
How Everything Works 20 Oct 2017. 20 Oct 2017 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=1391>.
To obtain a wide variety of colors, you'll need a wide variety of metal salts. Sodium salts, including common table salt, will give you yellow light—the same light that's produced by sodium vapor lamps. Potassium salts yield purple, copper and barium salts yield green, strontium salts yield red, and so on. The classic way to produce a colored flame is to dip a platinum wire into a metal salt solution and to hold the wire in the flame. Since platinum is expensive, you can do the same trick with a piece of steel wire. The only problem is that the steel wire will burn eventually.