Lightsticks and Luminescence
Things that glow in the dark can seem like magic, but they’re really chemistry! Visit these links to learn how luminescence works, to experiment with lightsticks, see why an internet Mountain Dew video was a fake, and more.
- Liquid Light Demo
Red + green + blue = what? Try this color mixing demonstration to find out!
- Color Mixing Using Chemical Light Sticks
Grab an electric drill from the tool box and mix lightstick colors.
- Glow Worm
Try this luminescent twist on the Elephant’s Toothpaste demo.
- Chemiluminescence with Luminol
Turn out the lights, load up some luminol solutions, and watch the glow with these three demos!
- Chemiluminescent Oscillating Demonstrations
Think “The Ghostly Cylinder” sounds like the title of a murder mystery? Think again—it’s a glowing chemistry demo to try.
- A Multi-Colored Luminescence Demonstration
A single glowing color too boring? Produce a rainbow of glow with this demo.
- Temperature and the Rate of a Chemical Reaction
How low can you glow? Investigate what happens when you change the temperature of a lightstick.
- Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie
Link children’s literature and chemistry with this easy-to-do lightstick activity for younger children.
- Turning on the Light
Luminescence—it’s not just lightsticks. Investigate everyday objects to find some surprising sources of luminescence.
- Light Your Candy
Materials needed: dark room, wintergreen candies, and your mouth. Let’s go!
- Duck Tape Triboluminescence
Tear it. Stick it. Rip it. Watch it glow!
- What's That Stuff? Lightsticks
Learn about early research into chemiluminescence, with fireflies for inspiration.
- How Lightsticks Work
It seems simple—snap a lightstick, shake it up, and watch it glow. But there’s a lot of chemistry packed into that little tube!
- Light Stick Colors
Find out where lightsticks get their different-colored glow.
- Mountain Dew Glow
It’s a fake! Learn why the glowing Mountain Dew YouTube video was a hoax.