How To: Make duct tape glow

Make duct tape glow

If there was a way to make duct tape more desirable and distinct, would you do it? Well, what if there was a way to make duct tape glow? There is a way. Watch this science video tutorial from Nurd Rage on how to make duct tape glow with Dr. Lithium.

In a previous video on how to make smash-glow crystals, you saw that light was released when the crystals were smashed. Now, you'll see a simpler triboluminescent trick. Just sticking together and then pulling apart two pieces of duct tape will cause them to produce a blue line of light in the effect called triboluminescence.

Special thanks to Ashi58 for letting his duct tape footage.

What's happening is that the action of pulling apart the glue causes charge separation in the two strips. The charges then attempt to recombine and collide with nearby molecules (of tape, glue, or air) exciting them and releasing light.

Interestingly, in a vacuum there is no air to slow down the charges so they collide at full energy and release x-rays. This serves as the basis for the sticky-tape x-ray machine published in the journal Nature.

Brought to you by one of WonderHowTo's favorite scientists, NurdRage.

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