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The Chemistry of Coloured Glass
Coloured glass is something that’s commonplace in our lives, from the green of wine and beer bottles, to the red, yellow, and green of traffic lights. The origin of these colours is something we don’t give a lot of thought to, but a range of different elements are responsible. This graphic takes a simple look at a few of these, and the colours they impart.
Coloured glass can actually be produced in a number of ways, but there are three main methods. The first involves introducing transition metal or rare earth metal oxides to the glass. This is usually achieved by the addition of metal oxides to the glass. The metal ions absorb certain wavelengths of light, varying depending on the metal, leading to the appearance of colour. There’s more on what causes the colour of transition metal ions here.