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Seeing the light: Using chemiluminescence to demonstrate chemical fundamentals

journal contribution
posted on 1999-01-01, 00:00 authored by R Carlson, S W Lewis, Kieran LimKieran Lim
The term "chemiluminescence" was first coined by Eilhardt Weidemann in 1888, and refers to the emission of light from a chemical reaction. In its simplest form it can be represented by: A + B Æ [I]* Æ products + light [I]* is an excited state intermediate formed from the reaction of reactants A and B. This attractive phenomenon has been used frequently as a demonstration in teaching classes, and there are a number of "recipes" available in the literature and on the World Wide Web. As part of the CSIRO Student Research Scheme for 1999, a secondary school student (RC) spent time in the laboratories at Deakin University, Geelong, investigating the suitability of a number of chemiluminescence demonstrations based on the luminol reaction which available on the World Wide Web. The particular aim was to find a reaction suitable for use in secondary schools. In this paper we compare and evaluate these luminol chemiluminescence demonstrations, and propose simple adaptations of the demonstrations to demonstrate basic chemical fundamentals.



The Australian Journal of Education in Chemistry




14 - 21


Bathurst: The Division





Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article