Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why do light sticks glow?

Light sticks are not candles. they are not even magic wands that can turn a frog into a prince. light sticks glow because of chemiluminescence, where light is made by the reaction of some chemicals: hydrogen peroxide, phenyl oxalate ester, and flourescent dye. hydrogen peroxide is placed inside a thin glass that is inside the light stick's container. it is surrounded by the solution of phenyl oxalate ester and flourescent dye. to operate a light stick, you bend it. this breaks the glass with hydrogen peroxide, making it blend with the solution outside. the chemical reaction of the three chemicals makes the light stick glow. this is the reason why hydrogen peroxide is called the "activator" it's the one that makes the chemical reaction happen.

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