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chemiluminescence

Chemiluminescence: How Glow Sticks Work
Image: iStockphoto.com/DuncanL

Chemiluminescence: How Glow Sticks Work

The firefly is nature’s prime example of chemiluminescence: light created by chemicals without significant heat. Scientists discovered that a molecule that emits light when excited combined with an energy source to excite it creates a chemical reaction resulting in a glow.

Thus the glow stick was born — and parties and concerts would never be the same!

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Giant Glow Stick Pixel Art

Giant Glow Stick Pixel Art

Watch Tara and Anthony of Hard Science dissect glow sticks and then attempt to create an enormous Ms. Pac Man screen from their contents. More...

Video
Hard Science
Measure Luminescence in Glow-in-the-Dark Objects

Measure Luminescence in Glow-in-the-Dark Objects

Delve into the secrets of glow-in-the-dark objects! This hands-on project shows you how to build your own device to measure luminescence. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Chemiluminescence: Light Without Heat

Chemiluminescence: Light Without Heat

Glow sticks give off light with no heat, but how does the temperature of a light stick, aka glow stick, affect its glow? Get one and put it to the test! More...

Activity
Science Is Fun
Chemiluminescence: The Chemistry of Light

Chemiluminescence: The Chemistry of Light

In this crazy video, MIT students put a glow stick through its paces to explain the phenomenon of chemiluminescence. As a bonus, you’ll see a cool costume idea! More...

Video
MIT K-12 Videos
Cooling Glow Sticks

Cooling Glow Sticks

Discover the connection between lizards and glow sticks in this simple experiment. All you need is a fresh glow stick, water, ice, and salt. More...

Activity
Naked Scientists
How Luminol Works

How Luminol Works

What do glow sticks and crime scenes have in common? Chemiluminescence! Discover how the chemical luminol can reveal hidden blood stains with an eerie blue glow. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
Make Glow Sticks

Make Glow Sticks

Get a step-by-step demonstration of the chemical mixtures that give glow sticks their colored light. Consult an adult before tackling this yourself. More...

Video
NurdRage
The History of Glow Sticks

The History of Glow Sticks

Glow sticks started out as firefly wannabes in the 1970s. Discover their history in the U.S. military. More...

Article
eHow
The Science of Glow Sticks and Lightning Bugs

The Science of Glow Sticks and Lightning Bugs

Lightning bugs and glow sticks: One appears in nature and the other is manufactured. Both luminesce — give off light without heat. Find out more. More...

Video
Children's Museum of Indianapolis

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