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ERIC Number: EJ1001186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
The Chemistry of Lightsticks: Demonstrations to Illustrate Chemical Processes
Kuntzleman, Thomas Scott; Rohrer, Kristen; Schultz, Emeric
Journal of Chemical Education, v89 n7 p910-916 Jul 2012
Lightsticks, or glowsticks as they are sometimes called, are perhaps the chemist's quintessential toy. Because they are easy to activate and appealing to observe, experimenting with lightsticks provides a great way to get young people interested in science. Thus, we have used lightsticks to teach chemical concepts in a variety of outreach settings and demonstration shows. Although these devices are simple to operate, a working lightstick depends upon a rich array of physicochemical processes. For example, the chemical processes involved in lightsticks include acid-base chemistry, redox reactions, quantum chemistry, and thermodynamics. Consequently, we have used lightstick experiments and demonstrations in general, inorganic, and physical chemistry classes. In this paper, we share some experiments and demonstrations with lightsticks that we have used in these various educational settings. (Contains 3 tables, 6 figures, and 2 schemes.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A