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-   -   Do wintergreen Life Savers actually make a spark? (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=22686)

ptex Apr26-04 11:26 AM

Do wintergreen Life Savers actually make a spark?
 
Is this true or some trick?In the news

motai Apr26-04 11:39 AM

If they do, its making me reconsider ever biting into any piece of Life Savers candy (especially wintergreen).

ptex Apr26-04 11:45 AM

Especially while pumping gas.

enigma Apr26-04 12:24 PM

I didn't know this was news. My friends and I discovered it at camp over a decade ago. I guess we should have written a report and submitted it for national fame...

ptex Apr26-04 01:25 PM

So its real?

enigma Apr26-04 02:19 PM

Oh yeah. Try it yourself. Go into the bathroom. Put a lifesaver in your mouth. Turn the light off. Look in the mirror, and chew with your mouth open.

LURCH Apr26-04 02:34 PM

As I understand it, the crystals in the Wint-o-Green LifeSavers TM discharge a piezoelectric spark. This in tern is amplified by interaction with the sugar molecules.

wasteofo2 Apr26-04 05:13 PM

I read about that and tried it last summer, nothing happened. Though I also read that if it weren't ridiculously dark and very dry it wouldn't work. Thoguh I don't see how external humidity would matter at all, since the second you put it in your mouth it gets really damn humid.

NateTG Apr26-04 05:42 PM

You can also get the effect by opening some types of band-aid packages.

Ivan Seeking Apr27-04 05:31 PM

As my poor mother will tell you, if you use a pair of plyers instead of biting the LS it is much easier to see. The down side: Our bathroom had Wintergreen LS pieces in every corner and crevice. Obviously this approach quickly lends itself to making as big a spark as possible using many lifesavers at once. :rolleyes:

Sci Am had a write up on this years ago.


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