the chemistry of glow sticks: how glow sticks work

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This is an informative PowerPoint presentation on the science behind glow sticks and chemiluminescence.


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Presentation Transcript

Why and how do they glow? : 

Why and how do they glow? By: Linh Diep & Edwin Truong The Chemistry of GLOW STICKS AP CHEMISTRY FINAL PROJECT

The Basic Idea: : 

The Basic Idea: A glow stick is simply a plastic tube with a glass vial inside of it. There is a chemical inside each of these regions (tube and glass vial). When the two chemicals come in contact, a reaction takes place and the glow stick illuminates. The color comes from a fluorescent dye. GLOW STICKS

The Terminology: : 

The Terminology: Chemiluminescence – the emission of light with limited emission of heat as a result of a chemical reaction. This is an exothermic reaction because energy is given off in the form of light. The color of that light depends on the dye. GLOW STICKS

Chemiluminescence: : 

Chemiluminescence: The reactants, hydrogen peroxide and phenyl oxalate ester react to release enough energy to excite the electrons in the fluorescent dye. The electrons in the dye get excited really quickly. As they transition to a less excited state, energy is emitted in the form of a photon, creating light. GLOW STICKS

How That Works: : 

How That Works: When the reaction takes place, the hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the phenyl oxalate ester. This means the phenyl oxalate ester loses electrons as hydrogen peroxide gains those electrons. Abnormal state = instability GLOW STICKS

How That Works: : 

How That Works: The oxidation creates an unstable peroxyacid ester that decomposes into carbon dioxide. The decomposition releases energy into the dye, which excites the electrons found in the dye. GLOW STICKS

The Reaction: : 

The Reaction: GLOW STICKS

Excitation of Electrons: : 

Excitation of Electrons: The electrons now move to a higher level on the emission spectrum. The dye then radiates this energy as photonic light as the electrons transition back down to their ground state. GLOW STICKS

Fluorophores: : 

Fluorophores: The fluorescent dyes used are actually called fluorophores. Different fluorophores emit different colors of light. GLOW STICKS BLUE RED

Rates of Reaction: : 

Rates of Reaction: Temperature: As with most chemical reactions, the rate of reaction for the production of light from a glow stick increases with an increase in temperature. Cold Environment = reacts slower, but lasts much longer. Hot Environment = reacts relatively quickly, but glow time is very limited. GLOW STICKS

A Closer Look: : 

A Closer Look: Reaction rate changes with various temperature settings: GLOW STICKS LESS COLLISIONS MORE COLLISIONS

Electrical Engineering: : 

Electrical Engineering: Oregon State University ENGR 201 – Electrical Fundamentals a course intended to teach the basics of DC circuit design and analysis. DC circuit design is important for every type of engineering, whether in mechanical engineering where measuring the heat of a motor is important, or in civil engineering when measuring the strain on a beam is important in analyzing a bridge. College Majors and Courses

Electrical Engineering: : 

Electrical Engineering: Oregon State University ECE 331 – Electromechanical Energy Conversion Principles of electromechanical energy conversion. Rotating machines. DC motors. Induction motors. Synchronous machines. College Majors and Courses

Chemistry (Physical Chem): : 

Chemistry (Physical Chem): University of California Los Angeles Chem C115A – Quantum Chemistry Basic principles of quantum chemistry, exactly solvable problems, angular momentum, approximation methods, applications to electronic structure. College Majors and Courses

Chemistry (Physical Chem): : 

Chemistry (Physical Chem): University of California Los Angeles Phys 110A– Electricity and Magnetism presents a comprehensive exploration of the static aspects of electromagnetic theory, laying the basis for the discussion of electrodynamics and the full presentation of Maxwell's Equations. College Majors and Courses

Bibliography: : 

Bibliography: Harris, Tom. "How Light Sticks Work" 02 November 2001. <> 13 December 2010. Wehrell-Grabowski, Diana. (2008, October 27). “How Do Glow Sticks Work?” Online video clip. Book source Book source 2 Sources

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