Way To Glow (page 2)

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Diagrams and Pictures

Research Questions

  • What are the different substances that luminous materials are made of?
  • What are the properties of their compositions?
  • How do these substances sustain their special glow without the use of an external power source for the duration of their glow?
  • What are the individual wavelengths of the different colors of the spectrum?
  • Why are certain colors more difficult to create than others?

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

Phosphorescence, electrons, photons, wavelengths, properties of light, basic knowledge of chemical composition

Experimental Procedure

Note: This is to be done in a room that is available to be undisturbed for the duration of the experiment. You must be able to turn the light source on to “charge” the substances and turn all light sources completely off after they receive their boost. A pitch black room is highly recommended. 

  1. Gather all materials and place each color/ substance in a small separate jars with distinguishing labels that mark the color.
  2. Place these substance-filled jars side-by-side in a line for clarity under florescent lamps. It is recommended that 2 lamps be used and the powder be separated from the paints to insure an even, controlled illumination.
  3. Set the video camera on a tripod (and to night-mode), timer, and direct it at the experiment. You can turn the camera to record at this point. 
  4. Turn on the lamp(s) so that they get charged at exactly the same time for about 1 minute.
  5. After 1 minute, turn off all light sources so that the room is completely dark (except for the glow of the substances).
  6. You can expect to have this set-up for at least 12 hours. The ideal time to check on the experiment would be at 15 hours. During this time you can record your initial thoughts on the color intensities. You can either give a numerical rating or a description for this.
  7. Once time is up, check on the experiment and record your observations by looking at the recorded video as well as what is in front of you.

Diagrams or Pictures

               b) Experimental Setup 


Suggested chart for recording data
Color Intensity Rating
Glow Duration
Other Notes
References to related books

Kendell, David Fluorescence And Phosphorescence (2008)

Longair, Malcolm. Theoretical Concepts in Physics (2003) 
Links to related sites on the web


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