Since being invented some 25 years ago the glow sticks we as children have grown up with are still the partying craze at rave events and darkly illuminated venues that need that little kick of hand held lights. The principal on which glow sticks work to an everyday person is almost supernatural, but in fact the technology used to make it and the way it works is actually very simple indeed. But how does a light stick give off such a strong light source with no bulb and no battery. As a form of energy, light can be emitted through a variety of processes. These processes may include 1. Incandescent lighting works through the emission of light due to heat, this is the process of an ordinary light bulb. 2. Both fluorescent and phosphorescent lighting is the emission of light in response to radiation energy. This can be directly related to a fluorescent light or more easily a television. 3. The final is the laser generation which is the concentrated emission of light using simulated emission an example would obviously be a recreational laser. All these processes work on the same basic principle: An outside source of energy excites atoms, causing them to release particles of light called photons. When you burn something, for example, heat energy causes the atoms that make up the material to speed up. When the atoms speed up, they collide with each other with greater force. If the atoms are excited enough, the collisions will transfer energy to some of the atom's electrons. When this happens, an electron will be temporarily boosted to a higher energy level also meaning it will travel further away from the atom's nucleus. When it eventually falls back down to its original level closer to the nucleus, it releases some of its energy in the form of light photons.
A light stick does the same basic thing, but it uses a chemical reaction to excite the atoms in a material to cause light. We now realise that glow sticks encourage a chemical reaction...
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