Bytesize Science - Chemiluminescence: How Glow Sticks Work

 Reactions  show

Summary: Listen up all you ravers out there! Chemiluminescence is at the heart of how glow sticks (as well as fireflies) give off their otherworldly light. When scientists first tried to make their own glowing material in the 1960s, they realized they needed two components. The first is a molecule that lights up when excited, and the second is an energy source to excite the first molecule. But that's not all the chemistry involved - every unique glow stick color requires a different glowing molecule. Our latest episode breaks down the chemistry behind everybody's favorite party favor, the glow stick.