• The sparks given off by the Lifesavers are caused by an effect called triboluminescence. Triboluminescence is the creation of light by friction. This was first studied by Sir Francis Bacon about 400 years ago, even before the wintergreen Lifesaver was invented. It turns out that lots of things can glow when friction is applied. If you look closely, quickly stripping a roll of tape can cause a faint blue glow to appear.It turns out that sugar is triboluminescent. When you crush sugar crystals, because of their irregular crystal structure, the breaking of the sugar crystals produces fragments that are positively and negatively charged. This separation of charge can become great enough to create small sparks to jump through the air.

Copyright 2020, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy