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Nuclear Chemistry: Glow in the Dark Products

By: Brandon Middlebrooks and Lindsay Jackson
by

Lindsay Jackson

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Nuclear Chemistry: Glow in the Dark Products

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli By: Brandon Middlebrooks and Lindsay Jackson Nuclear Chemistry: Glow in the Dark Background Information All Glow in the Dark materials contain Phosphors. A Phosphor is a synthetic fluorescent or phosphorescent substance that radiates visible light after being energized.
A Glow in the Dark substance can be categorized into several different sciences depending on what kind of energy is need to energize the phosphor within it:
Phosphorescence: An object is coated with phosphorescent chemicals and exposed to light.
Chemiluminescence: The glow produced is caused by a chemical reaction. When the two chemicals mix, they excite electrons and cause them to move to a higher energy level. As they move back to normal levels, they release energy. Thus producing a glow.
Bioluminescence: Light is emitted from a living organism. The organisms producing such light either already have the chemicals needed within them to produce light, or it may be caused by a reaction to environment. Uses of Glow in the Dark products When given the right amount of phosphors placed within it, just about any product can glow:
Children's toys
Paint
Thread
Bioluminescence is put to use within the medical feild to illuminate parts of the body so that medical examiners may trace infection, preform surgeries, etc. Advantages and Disadvantages Glow in the dark products can be advantageous in a variety of ways:
Identifying the spread of infection within a patients body through fluorescent proteins rather than trial and error surgeries.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic paired a gene from a fluorescent jellyfish to track another gene that is known to resist the development of the feline AIDS virus. The cat version of the disease depletes the body’s infection-fighting T-cells, just as it does in people.
Glow in the dark products can also be considered dangerous to health:
In the 1920's to late 1960's, clocks dials were commonly painted with the radioactive element Radium so that light would emit from the numbers without the use of electricity. This had to be discontinued after Radium was found to be a health hazard as it can cause sores, anemia, and bone cancer. This happens because Radium is treated like Calcium by the body and is deposited into the bones. Radioactivity degrades the marrow, and mutates bone cells. Nuclear Chemistry Not all radioactive elements or materials glow. However, given the right conditions, they will produce light. It is when radioactive elements impart energy nearby fluorescent of phosphorescent materials that they glow.
For example:
Radon ordinarily exists as a gas, but as it is cooled it becomes a phosphorescent yellow, and thus deepening to a glowing red as it reaches its freezing point. Video Bibliography http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science-questions/question388.htm
http://www.wisegeek.org/how-do-things-glow-in-the-dark.htm
http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions/a/Photoluminescen.htm
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2011/09/the-glow-in-the-dark-kitty/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium
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