Ready, Set, Glow

Glow sticks use energy from a chemical reaction to emit light. This chemical reaction is set off by combining multiple chemical compounds. The process begins with bending the glow stick. The transformation of chemical energy is quite evident when the two substances inside the glow stick come together and undergo a chemical reaction, ultimately producing radiant energy.

In order to start a glow stick you have to bend the middle of the plastic stick in which there is a smaller vial in the stick in which you must break. As soon as the two different substances, hydrogen peroxide and phenyl oxalate, come into contact, a reaction starts taking place and this releases light causing the stick to glow. The photo you see was made by using five activated glow sticks: red, orange, yellow, green and blue. They were cut from the top and shaken out into the jar causing it to splatter all around the jar. Now stuck to the sides of the glass, the liquid lights up not just the jar but a dark room.

Colin Pooran
Blessed Cardinal Newman CHS, Toronto, Ontario
First Prize ( High School Class Project Category )
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