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Q:

What applications could a flame test be used for in real life?

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Inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP) is an example of a flame test used in real life. You probably dipped metal ions into flames and they turned green or red or purple. In ICP spectroscopy a sample is heated to 3000K or some really hot temperature and the sample will emit a specific wavelength of light. The machine has a diffraction grating that separates the wavelengths of light and detects each of them and their intensity. Therefore you can use ICP to determine what substances are in a sample and how much. It's used for analyzing things like lead content in drinking water. more
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