This activity explores the emission of various colors of light by igniting metal salts. The flame used is a source of energy which will cause the electrons in a metal ion to jump up to an excited state. When the electrons come back down from their excited state, they give off light. This process of electrons changing state from “relaxed” to “excited” is known as quantum mechanics. Depending on the element in the salt used, observers will see different colors of light emitted as the salt is combusted. From this activity, observers will learn that thermal energy raises electrons in metal atoms to a higher energy state. And that when the electrons come back down from this higher energy state, they will emit energy in the form of light to return to the more stable ground state.