Halloween Help ~ How To… Make A Glow Stick

Halloween is just around the corner and as the little ghosts and goblins get ready to go out trick-or-treating, glow sticks really come in handy. But don’t let your little ones be the master scientist and put these together, the adult is always the best person to do jobs like this.

I found this article in WIRED magazine: How to….Make A GlowStick.

What you need to get started:

  • 2 liter distilled water
  • 50 milliliters hydrogen peroxide(3% concentration)
  • 0.2 gram luminol
  • 4 grams sodium carbonate
  • 0.4 gram copper sulfate pentahydrate
  • 0.5 gram ammonium cargonate

You can order the chemicals online at Science Stuff.In a medium-size mixing bowl add the hydrogen peroxide to 1 liter of water. In another bowl, dissolve the luminol, sodium carbonate, copper sulfate, and ammonium carbonate in the second liter of water.

Lay out a few sealable, clear containers – test tubes with stoppers or Nalgene bottles are good.

Pour in equal measures of each solution and watch with glee as it lights up. The hydrogen peroxide solution oxidizes the luminol, producing 3-aminophthalic acid. As its electrons settle to a more sedate quantum state, they emit photons at wavelengths between 430 and 470 nanometers – purplish blue.

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