Public Release: 

Science Elements podcast highlights the science of fireworks

American Chemical Society

The July feature of Science Elements, the American Chemical Society's (ACS') weekly podcast series, shines the spotlight on the science of fireworks, just in time for the July 4th holiday. The episode is available at

Independence Day is a time for picnics, parades and, of course, fireworks. Those beautiful explosions in the sky would be nothing without chemistry. In today's episode, Science Elements talks to the man who literally wrote the book on fireworks.

"Everything you see in a fireworks display is chemistry in action," says John Conkling, Ph.D., of Washington College.

Other recent topics of Science Elements podcasts include:

  • How white bread encourages the growth of "good" microbes in the gut
  • Deadly bacteria that elude detection in the body
  • The surprising reason why smog continues to soar in Los Angeles


New episodes are available on iTunes on every Monday and Wednesday and on the ACS website every Wednesday.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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