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The Science Behind Your Favorite Fireworks

July 4, 2020
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Roman Candles

The first thing you should know about Roman Candles is that, contrary to popular belief, they’re not meant to be held in your hand.

Roman Candles are banned in some places because people tend to use them the wrong way. In Delaware, it’s illegal to have them at all and in Wisconsin, you have to have a permit to purchase and use Roman Candles.

The candles are essentially cardboard tubes in wrapping paper. A lit fuse makes its way to a lifting charge that builds pressure and pushes the stars out, setting them off. Roman Candles usually feature a couple of stars within the tube separated by a delay (or powder) charge that spaces the explosions out.

To ensure that the flame doesn’t reach the next star before all of the powder has been burned away, the powder gets tightly packed. This helps avoid misfirings.

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