Cool Blue Light Chemiluminescence Experiment
Glow sticks generate light with very little heat, just like the glow you see from fireflies, jellyfish, and a few species of fungi. Chemiluminescence means light that comes from a chemical reaction. When this happens in animals and plants, it’s called bioluminescence.
In a glow stick, when you bend it to activate it, you’re breaking a little glass tube inside which contains hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The tube itself is filled with another chemical (phenyl oxalate ester and a fluorescent dye) that is kept separate from the H2O2, because as soon as they touch, they begin to react. The dye in the light stick is what gives the light its color.
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