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Explore Glow-in-the-Dark Water!

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Active Time
< 10 minutes
Total Project Time
< 10 minutes
Key Concepts
chemistry, water, light, fluorescence, energy, ultraviolet light
Picture of tonic water glowing under ultraviolet black light.

Introduction

Have you ever been fascinated by things that glow in the dark? It can be a lot of fun to play with bracelets, wands, and other toys that are glow-in-the-dark, like some stickers and creepy, crawly, plastic insects! Have you ever wanted to make something at home that glows? It turns out that it is not that hard to do — all you need is tonic water and a black light! Some common household chemicals can also affect this beverage's glow. In this science activity, you will make tonic water glow by using a black light, and then you will add a little bleach to the water. How will adding bleach affect the glow of the tonic water? Try this activity to find out!

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Tonic water
  • Clear, plastic, disposable cup
  • Medicine dropper
  • Optional: Measuring cup
  • Bleach
  • Ultraviolet "black light"
    Materials for doing the glowing tonic water activity.

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Active Time
< 10 minutes
Total Project Time
< 10 minutes
Key Concepts
chemistry, water, light, fluorescence, energy, ultraviolet light