Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Glow sticks and electricity

  1. Jun 27, 2012 #1
    So from my understanding of glow sticks, the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide provides electrons that excites the fluorescent dye and gives off that classical glow-stick light source.

    My question is, could one put a DC current over the solution and still theoretically obtain the same result? If not, what could be done to achieve it from the glow stick dye [other than to put more hydrogen peroxide in there]?

    Thanks,
    Kateman
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    ... that would not be a good understanding of how a glowstick works. Looking at the chemistry I don't see stray electrons there.

    The other side of your question though: there are lots of ways to excite a florescent dye. You can certainly find a dye that will be excited in the presence of an electric field.

    I take it you have used-up glow-sticks you'd like to see glow again?
    I have not heard of them getting exited in electric fields. I have heard you can get them to light up again using heat. Not tried.
     
  4. Jun 29, 2012 #3
    Thanks Simon, much appreciated - can you please give an example of a dye that could do this with either an electric field or current? I tried looking it up, but did not return anything useful.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    More like you'd look for voltage sensitive dyes - they are used in cell biology and neuroscience. iirc: usually some kind of florescing protein.

    You'd put a vial of your dye between two charged plates :)
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook