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Do wintergreen Life Savers actually make a spark?

  1. Apr 26, 2004 #1
    Is this true or some trick?In the news
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2004 #2
    If they do, its making me reconsider ever biting into any piece of Life Savers candy (especially wintergreen).
     
  4. Apr 26, 2004 #3
    Especially while pumping gas.
     
  5. Apr 26, 2004 #4

    enigma

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    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...
     
  6. Apr 26, 2004 #5
    So its real?
     
  7. Apr 26, 2004 #6

    enigma

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    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.
     
  8. Apr 26, 2004 #7

    LURCH

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    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.
     
  9. Apr 26, 2004 #8
    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.
     
  10. Apr 26, 2004 #9

    NateTG

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    You can also get the effect by opening some types of band-aid packages.
     
  11. Apr 27, 2004 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    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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