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Effects Of Temperature On Glow Sticks

1178 words - 5 pages

Glow sticks are made up of many different elements. These elements include sodium carbonate, luminol, ammonium carbonate, copper sulfate pentahydrate, distilled water, diphenyl oxalate and hydrogen peroxide. Temperature has a huge effect on glow sticks, cold or warm. It is said that the warmer the temperature the brighter the glow stick but the chemical reaction time isn’t long and the cooler the temperature the dimmer the light but the chemical reaction time lasts way longer. So how does a glow stick glow?

There are three major components in glow sticks. The first one is the dye, this gives the glow stick color. Next would be the two chemicals that react and make the glow stick glow. A glow stick has a glass tube within the outer tube, that is what the cracking sound is when you bend the stick. Inside this glass tube there is a substance that leaks out and reacts with the other substance in the outer tube and makes the stick glow. When these substances join together the atoms get excited, and once they come down and relax they release light. Making glow sticks took many researchers and of these were Edwin Chandross and Michael Rauhut. Edwin first started on the glow stick and then he started corresponding with Rauhut. After this, Rauhut had his team expand on Edwins research. They eventually came up with a plan that would work for making the glow stick last over a period of time. A diphenyl oxalate ester would react with hydrogen peroxide to make a bright light.

Maybe the ingredients in glow sticks have ingredients that affect the reaction time in glow sticks. Luminol contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen and when these elements mix with alkaline solution which has a very high pH level and an oxidizing agent, the substance then glows a bluish color. Hydrogen peroxide reacts with luminol and is highly reactive when mixed with other ingredients. How would distilled water affect anything though? In glow sticks, distilled water dilutes the hydrogen peroxide so it’s not so strong anymore. In copper sulfate pentahydrate, there is copper, lead, iron, cadmium, chromium, antimony and arsenic. Luminol sort of takes electrons from the copper which also results in the blue glowing color. So luminol has a huge part with the chemical reaction in glow sticks.

This all brings the chemical reaction in glow sticks. Chemical reaction is the process that involves rearrangement of the molecular or ionic structure of a substance, as opposed to a change in physical form or a nuclear reaction. This would relate to how the two chemicals combine and produce the neon glow. The chemical reaction in glow sticks however involves chemiluminescence. This is the emission of light during a chemical reaction that does not produce significant quantities of heat. This all brings up the question of what is light. All light is, is electromagnetic radiation, the range of radiation wavelengths is what makes radiation visible. There are many different forms of light and...

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