Greetings fellow nerds. In a previous video I showed you how to make various colored glow sticks by using various dyes. Now I mentioned that Rhodamine B had the problem of decaying too soon. But we’re going to exploit that and make a color changing glow stick. Once again we start with the solvent diethyl phthalate. Now the base dye we’re going to use is 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene to give us a green glow. This dye is stable and will be the final color of the glow stick. There we go, all mixed in. Now we add Rhodamine B. We’re adding in a little extra Rhodamine B so that it completely masks the 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene. Just like in our previous video, we’re adding in TCPO to power the glow stick, and sodium acetate to raise the pH. Okay we’re ready. Now we add the hydrogen peroxide to initiate the reaction. And there it goes. Let me give it a shake. Now that’s a red glow stick. But over the course of just ten minutes, the Rhodamine B will decay and unmask the green 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene. Obviously if I used blue 9,10-diphenylanthracene I would get a blue glow stick as my final color. And there it is, we went from a red glow stick to a green one. Thanks for watching, please subscribe, rate and comment.

Make a Color Changing Glow Stick
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100 thoughts on “Make a Color Changing Glow Stick

  • October 20, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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    @grandbacha Please go back to what ever simple place you came from.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2011 at 12:00 am
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    Very cool, I would like to see you melt more stuff with gallium! kinda like that "will it blend" but "will it melt" 😛

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  • October 21, 2011 at 12:10 am
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    @grandbacha That's not another video. you're just linking this one again. Where is this other video i posted again?

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  • October 21, 2011 at 12:10 am
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    cool

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  • October 21, 2011 at 12:28 am
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    @NurdRage he is talking about the 1 called "Make Glow Sticks-The Scinece"

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  • October 21, 2011 at 12:40 am
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    @grandbacha No i got the same felling, thatI have seen this before, LOL

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  • October 21, 2011 at 12:56 am
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    Nice.

    Would there be any practical way to delay the reaction for the secondary colour so that by the time the Rhodamine B breaks down you haven't burned through 10 minutes of "glow time"?

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  • October 21, 2011 at 1:02 am
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    @bartreardon add more TCPO?

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  • October 21, 2011 at 1:15 am
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    @TheHomeGamer1 What about it? thats a different video, this video is not a duplicate.

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  • October 21, 2011 at 5:25 am
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    Science! I am so glad I chose to be an observer and not a practitioner of it!

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  • October 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm
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    @NurdRage iknow.but he might be thinking of it becuse you show diferent culors (spelling fail) changing in this video.and the other video shows diferent culors.this is just a pure guess.

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  • October 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm
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    @superbird99999 That's his real voice.

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  • October 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm
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    Can you make a glow stick that keep on changing colour?

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  • October 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm
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    is this really your real voice? it is so deep!

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  • October 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm
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    What happens in this experiment(i mean reaction (formula))

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  • October 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm
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    @Hazel0283 I would assume you would have to find a non-interacting repeating clock reaction,

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  • October 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm
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    This doesnt seem as bright as the other ones 🙁

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  • October 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm
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    im a sophmore ighschool student, and when stuff decays in chemistry, doesnt it mean like radioactive decay?
    and if it does woudlnt that release radiation that can be harmful, like cancerous.

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  • October 22, 2011 at 3:08 am
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    @Zanragnar That dye is organometallic and would quench the chemiluminescent reaction as well as catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

    What we need are organic dyes with high quantum yields and no functional groups to get oxidized.

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  • October 22, 2011 at 6:19 am
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    Sounds like gaben

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  • October 22, 2011 at 6:32 am
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    I understand what he's talking about cause of school !:D

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  • October 22, 2011 at 8:06 am
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    Whoa :O Black magic

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  • October 22, 2011 at 9:26 pm
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    @hongyi8 so whats the difference between a "mere chemical decomposition" and radioactive decomposition

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  • October 22, 2011 at 11:53 pm
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    See the dislike bar? I don't either.

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  • October 23, 2011 at 12:36 am
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    @hongyi8 oh ok makes much more sense thanks!!!!

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  • October 23, 2011 at 2:16 am
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    @NurdRage I see. I figured it would be something like that. Where would be a good resource to learn more about the mechanism of action of these chemiluminescent reactions? It's an interesting subject I'd like to learn more about.

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  • October 23, 2011 at 2:42 am
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    @cokenotpepsi22 Yay! a school that teaches you something! for awhile there i lost hope 🙂

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  • October 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm
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    You should make a video where you don't alter your voice!

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  • October 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm
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    your the reason why im going to study chem in college

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  • October 25, 2011 at 9:28 pm
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    how many different colors could you make the solution change?

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  • October 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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    how bout rubrene? u never mentioned.

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  • October 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm
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    woot!

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  • October 31, 2011 at 6:14 pm
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    rate and comment?
    the rate thing is no more for very long now -_-

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  • November 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm
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    @i4sci Technically, 2. From a reddish color to whatever color you want in the hue range of yellow to blue(just mix the dyes).

    But you can make a fake 3-color glowstick – a red-white-turquiose glowstick – by using red, green and blue dyes – It starts as red, goes to white and then turquiose.

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  • November 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm
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    what are those cool bottles u use? what is it called and where do you get them??

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  • November 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm
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    How bright is the mixture on the final colour change?

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  • December 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm
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    @KyuubiSam As bright as a normal green glowstick.

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  • December 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm
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    Also… Is there a way to prolong the colour change?

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  • December 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm
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    Nice to see you are making videos again

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  • December 19, 2011 at 1:52 am
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    tcpo i thought it was threecpo

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  • December 21, 2011 at 5:22 am
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    Could you actually make a red/blue glow stick?

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  • December 28, 2011 at 5:41 am
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    Whats up with the voice changeR?

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  • January 3, 2012 at 11:44 am
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    can u make ayellow colur glow stick

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  • January 4, 2012 at 9:24 am
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    in this video you said sodium acetate will raise the PH
    in another video you said sodium acetate is a catalyst.
    Which is it?

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  • January 5, 2012 at 7:09 am
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    @MrmarioRBLX Both

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  • January 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm
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    When you make the these glowsticks do you have to put them under a vent?

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  • January 11, 2012 at 1:23 am
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    so when it turns green is it just going to be dim like that or can you shake it to brighten it up for an extended amount of time?

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  • January 17, 2012 at 2:32 am
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    This will sound stupid in most ways but, is there a way to use urine to make glowsticks?It shows up glowing under an Ultra Violet light, so why not try and make it glow?

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  • January 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm
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    where the fuck can i get this shit??

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  • January 19, 2012 at 5:12 am
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    @brigiey22 kmart

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  • February 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm
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    Hey NurdRage i read something about a chemical that when gets in contact with other chemical it changes color.
    That would not be so exciting if i didn't read it can do infinite loop where it changes from like red to yellow and back to red and then again to yellow and this continues to infinity.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2012 at 1:33 am
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    @MrmarioRBLX a catalyst is merely an ingredient added to speed a reaction, so its probably safe to say that anything that raises the PH and does not inhibit the other chemical's reactions it will cause the reaction to be more vigorous.

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  • February 27, 2012 at 2:13 am
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    Might want to copyright this method, otherwise some ass fuck might sue u ಠ_ಠ

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  • March 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm
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    im in school… they are actually dumber then me, i actually read what they give to me

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  • March 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm
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    you are the AWESOMEST SCIENTIST EVER!!!! i know that, unlike me, you have a life but could you make videos a little more often? please?

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  • April 12, 2012 at 6:00 am
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    Hey Nurdrage i really enjoy all of your videos and have a sudden inspiration to experiment with science =P So first off thank you. Secondly, if my friend and i were to try to use this as a paint would it still function with the same vibrant glow, or does the solution have to be enclosed? Also how long do you think it would last. Lastly (sorry long comment) would it be reusable? If i were to add hydrogen peroxide to the same solution that just lost its vibrant glow, would it light up once more?

    Reply
  • April 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm
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    i think ebay for home kinda stuff i saw on a video to get a chemacal fir one of his exparaments

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  • April 21, 2012 at 12:58 am
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    Nurdrage

    Reply
  • April 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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    Can u use the blue dye mask it with green dye then mask it with red to make a glowstick that changes from blue to green to red?

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  • May 28, 2012 at 4:31 am
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    I love lights

    Reply
  • May 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm
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    What and can I use household chemicals to make glow sticks? By household I mean bleach, baking soda, soap, dish soap etc. How long do these homemade glow sticks usually glow?

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  • May 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm
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    Can I use the liquid from a fluorescent highlighter as a dye and some other chemicals to complete the solution before adding the 30% H2O2?

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  • June 28, 2012 at 3:11 am
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    dude are there fluorecent dyes that can be eaten?? iam sorry about my bad english i dont know if dyes or fluorecent is correct hehe iam not USA ciizen

    Reply
  • July 20, 2012 at 4:22 am
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    will it turn 10 min on the dot? if so this could b a vary cool timeer for underwater or something

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  • July 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm
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    Unfortunately you can't make a glow stick with household chemicals. Glow sticks need TCPO or a similar chemical to generate the chemical energy needed. There are no household chemicals that can do that and TCPO isn't the easiest to synthesize as shown in NurdRage's TCPO vid.

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  • July 31, 2012 at 10:12 am
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    I wish these were commercially available! That'd be so sweet!

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  • August 8, 2012 at 7:14 am
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    You said Rhodium B instead of Rhodamine B, NurdRage. Unless that's been pointed out already, to which, I apologize for beating a dead horse. ^_^;

    Reply
  • August 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm
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    I would like to know how to make an IR Glow stick… in the Army we had Infrared Chem Lights that were only visible in out NVG's… I have ALWAYS wondered how it worked…

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  • September 9, 2012 at 7:56 am
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    your videos are awesome and I am Subscribing 😀

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  • October 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm
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    @mcsintac 16,17-dihexyloxyviolanthrone emits infrared at 725 nm[14] 16,17-butyloxyviolanthrone emits infrared[15] N,N'-bis(2,5,-di-tert-butylphenyl)-3,4,9,10-perylenedicarboximide emits infrared[15] 1-N,N-dibutylaminoanthracene emits infrared[15] 6-methylacridinium iodide emits infrared[15]

    Reply
  • October 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm
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    hi just wondering do you have to have all for the reaction because i want to do it so you can use it for like halloween but if it has to be prepared and used as soon as it is prepared or not

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  • October 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm
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    Neat videos, I did have a question but wasn't able to post it in the multi-color video due to it being locked. I've recently been building/testing various night vision systems and even a few infrared lasers to go with them. I was curious what dyes could be used to produce short wave IR light in the regions of 800nm, 850nm and 900nm, (these wavelengths correspond roughly to the outer edge of the light amplification range for Gen 1, 2 and 3, intensifier tubes respectively.)

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  • October 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm
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    Also, you mentioned that a mixture sans dye emitted it's energy as heat. I'm also curious how well this would work as an long-wave IR beacon for use with thermal imaging systems like FLIR, in much the same way short-wave IR glow-sticks are used with standard image intensification systems.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm
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    Aaand the very moment I post my big question about IR dyes I see this. 😛

    I see the wavelength for the first dye, but do you have them for the others?

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  • December 28, 2012 at 8:14 am
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    Dear Dr, Can I use CH3COONa.3H2O instead of dry CH3COONa ?

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  • January 10, 2013 at 6:59 am
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    so, could you technically produce a glow stick that is 4 colors? just curious, because that would be pretty cool..

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  • February 24, 2013 at 5:02 am
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    Rainbow.

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  • April 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm
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    Hwat???

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  • May 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm
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    Never knew chemistry can be THAT interesting… it's so boring in school!

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  • May 27, 2013 at 1:36 am
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    At the age of 6 glow sticks are what got me interested chemistry ..that was 30 years ago.

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  • June 3, 2013 at 11:22 pm
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    i feel like if you had any idea what any of this shit was or even where to begin trying to get it, you wouldnt be making such stupid things.

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  • June 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm
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    Is this caused because the two colors are competing for dominance?

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  • June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am
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    I approve.

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  • July 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm
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    Awesome

    Reply
  • August 6, 2013 at 3:35 am
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    Does it last forever?

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  • August 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm
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    Cool I will try that

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  • August 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm
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    Check out my video it's called glow Jordan Russell

    Reply
  • January 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm
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    Where can you get those chemicals

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  • April 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm
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    i know wrer do you get the chemicals

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  • May 28, 2014 at 5:30 am
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    "I believe in Science…"

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  • August 26, 2014 at 4:38 am
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    Question.  It was stated elsewhere that the dyes and the TCPO are carcinogenic.  It was my understanding that this glow liquid was the same as what is in the retail version of the glowsticks that state are non-toxic.  I know those two terms are not the same.  Are those glow sticks carcinogenic?  Or is it when you have larger quantities that you're working with you might be exposed more?  Is it less of a danger if it is diluted with the other chemicals?  I ask because I had hoped to find a way to make a glowing liquid and use it in a garden sprayer to light up disc golf baskets at night.

    Reply
  • September 18, 2014 at 3:10 am
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    Are you nogla

    Reply
  • November 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm
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    I like that idea

    Reply
  • November 30, 2014 at 2:00 am
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    I don't want to get in trouble if I perform these experiments, so for the sake of that possibility, are getting these chemicals legal? If so, where can I get these chemicals?

    Reply
  • December 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm
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    But how do you make a multiple color glow stick like the red white and blue ones for fourth of July with out them mixing

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  • May 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm
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    How to make Rhodamine B.please make a video for that.I wish you'll make it very soon
    I know you are using 9, 10 bis(phenylethylene)anthracene as well.then you are talking about Rhodamine B, then you are using 9, 10 diphenylanthracene as little. but you don't talk about Rubrene know.I like if you'll talk about that too

    Reply
  • June 25, 2015 at 9:22 am
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    Can you make it change faster?

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  • July 3, 2016 at 4:56 pm
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    In another reaction with potassium-something-manganate, I thought that color-changing reaction would happen in this, but it seems I was wrong.

    Reply
  • June 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm
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    can you make a video on chemiluminicents

    Reply

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