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Cool Science - Jack-No-Lanterns

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Cool Science - Jack-No-Lanterns

Lighting up a pumpkin makes it feel like Halloween. Unfortunately, it’s messy and can be a fire hazard. But did you know you can make a flame-free Jack-O-Lantern that glows in the dark with science?

You will need:

Pumpkin
Spray Glue
Contact paper or tape
Black light
Zinc Sulfide powder in a shaker

First, draw a face for your jack o lantern onto contact paper and then stick it onto the pumpkin. Now spray the pumpkin with spray glue from your local craft store. I would either do this outside or in a well-ventilated area. Then sprinkle the zinc sulfide powder over your sticky pumpkin. Peel off the contact paper and your pumpkin is ready to go!

Luminous zinc sulfide is phosphorescent, meaning that the glow continues even after the external light is removed. It works by absorbing surrounding light energy from sunlight or artificial lights and then releasing that energy when it is dark.

But we can’t wait to see how it’s going to look, so we’re going to test it with a black light. This emits ultraviolet light called UVA light. UVA light works at a higher energy level, causing the zinc sulfide to glow more strongly by exciting the atoms more then regular light can.

So this Halloween try using science to create a memorable Jack O Lantern.

Now that’s cool science!

For more information visit http://sciencenorth.ca/thunderbay
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