Feb 23, 2016
By Lillian, Robin and Krisha
Light from Triboluminescence
DefinitionTriboluminenescence: the production
of light from friction as a result of scratching, crushing, or rubbing certain crystals.
How Triboluminescence Works• Still not fully understood by scientists.• Caused by friction in certain crystals.• The light is produced when the charge asymmetrical
(usually) materials break/separate due to friction, and recombine.
• This causes a flash of light.• Not all materials that display triboluminescence are
asymmetrical. This remains unanswered by scientists.
Application of Triboluminescence
Russian scientists found that the peeling of tape in a vacuum create energy similar to x-rays.
Scientists are currently researching other practical uses for triboluminescence. (NASA has been studying triboluminescent material for smart optical damage sensors for space use.)
Although there are few everyday uses for triboluminescence, understanding how it works helps explain how other types of light is produced.
ExamplesWhere we can see triboluminescence!
Unrolling Friction TapeUnrolling scotch tape can produce visible
light.As the tape is pulled, localized regions of
charge are created.
Wint-O-Green LifesaversWhen these or any hard candies are bitten,
friction occurs and causes them to spark in your mouth.
The materials in hard candies cause them to produce light when being smashed.
Works CitedAggarwal, M. D., B. G. Penn, J. Miller, S. Sadate, and A. K. Batra.
"Triboluminescent Materials for Smart Optical Damage Sensors for Space Applications." NASA, 2008. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20080025731_2008024193.pdf>.
Helmenstine, Anne Marie. "Candy Triboluminescence." About Chemistry. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howthingswork/a/aa060601a_2.htm>.
Scott, Andy. "Triboluminescent Gems." ClassicGems. Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://www.classicgems.net/info_Triboluminescence.htm>.
"TLC Cooking "Why Do Wint-O-Green Life Savers Spark in the Dark?"" TLC Cooking "Food and Recipes" Web. 17 Apr. 2011. <http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question505.htm>.