Make Glowing Water
Make glowing water with the help of a black light in this fun science experiment for kids.
Tonic water doesn’t look very strange under normal light but what happens when you look
at it under a black light? Does the dye from a highlighter pen do the same thing? Find out
what happens and why it happens with this cool experiment that you can do at home.
What you’ll need:
A black light
Tonic water or a highlighter pen.
A dark room to do the experiment.
1. If you are using a highlighter pen carefully break it open, remove the felt and soak it
in a small amount of water for a few minutes.
2. Find a dark room.
3. Turn on the black light near your water, how does it look?
The ultra violet (UV) light coming from your black light lamp excites things called phosphors.
Tonic water and the dye from highlighter pens contain phosphors that turn UV light (light
we can’t see) into visible light (light we can see). That’s why your water glows in the dark
when you shine a black light on it.
Black lights are used in forensic science, artistic performances, photography, authentication
of banknotes and antiques, and in many other areas.
Black light (also known as UV or ultra violet light) is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The electromagnetic spectrum also includes infrared, X-rays, visible light (what the human
eye can see) and other types of electromagnetic radiation. A black light lamp such as the
one you used emits a UV light that can illuminate objects and materials that contain
phosphors. Phosphors are special substances that emit light (luminescence) when excited by
radiation. Your water glowed under the black light because it contained phosphors. If you
used a highlighter pen then the UV light reacted with phosphors in the dye. If you used tonic
water then the UV light reacted with phosphors in a chemical used in tonic water called
quinine. There are different types of luminescence, they include fluorescence (used in this
experiment, it glows only when the black light is on), phosphorescence (similar to
fluorescence but with a glow that can last even after the black light is turned off),
chemiluminescence (used to create glow sticks), bioluminescence (from living organisms)
and many others.
For 5th, 6th & 7th STD. Students Science Experiment: Make Glowing Water
Make Glowing Water