Work: Illustration
Location: Montréal
Date: 2022

Details: Triboluminescence

Sweet fun fact: iI you chew a mint candy in front of the mirror in the dark, chances are, you will see a bright sparks coming out of your mouth.

Triboluminescence is a phenomenon in which light is produced from friction. Surprisingly, candy crunching mimics the way lightning is produced in the sky. Nitrogen gas becomes excited in the air and creates that blue-white light. When we chew on mints, we create spots of positive and negative charges in the sugar crystals. When these build up, electrons (negative charges) jump across tiny fractures in the crystal. When this happens they collide with nitrogen gas molecules in the air. The nitrogen molecules become positively charged ions and combine with the wintergreen oil in the candy the reaction produces a blue luminescence (glow).

Illustration: Valéry Lemay

Tuesday Oct 5 2021