::FUN CHEMISTRY FACT OF THE DAY, PART 4::
My favorite kinds of chemistry involve things that glow; luminescence is one of my favorite things. There are lots of different kinds of luminescence. There's photoluminescence (caused by a beam of photons), cathodoluminescence (excited by electron beams), thermoluminescesence (stimulated from the application or outflow of heat, as seen in color-changing coffee mugs), chemiluminescence (chemical energy driven by chemical reactions), and bioluminescence (a subset of chemiluminescence, involving enzymes in living things).
But my favorite luminescence of all, though, is triboluminescence
, which is when things glow due to the application of physical force. (I have to admit, though, I like it because of its obscurity and its rockin' name!) According to Eric Weisstein's World of Physics
, triboluminescence "results from the breaking of certain bonds. This breakage creates free bonds, which immediately absorb and ionize nitrogen from the atmosphere, producing a characteristic green or blue-green flash. Maple syrup sucrose produces an especially strong effect."
Try it with maple syrup sucrose! Somebody! Anybody!
And let me know how it works.