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Glow Sticks: A Brief History

By Edited May 31, 2016 0 1

First and foremost, we should take a moment to thank the inventor of glow sticks, Edwin Chandross. In 1955, Chandross graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry. Later, in 1957, he received his M.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University. Three years later, in 1960, he graduated from Harvard with his Ph.D.

Chandross is also known for his work and research on fiber optics. He has made several important steps to improve the performance of fiber optics, and he has been officially recognized and awarded for his work in this area. Also impressive is Chandross's research on organic light emitting diodes, or OLEDs. OLEDs are used for flat panel displays, among other products.

Clearly, Chandross has made many important contributions to science and chemistry in particular. In addition to his work with fiber optics and OLEDs, Chadross is credited with inventing glow sticks. When he was working as a chemist with Bell Labs and playing with chemical forms of energy, he discovered the process of chemiluminescence, which is the technology behind the light stick. The energy in chemical forms produces light and can be used for many devices which produce light. Since Chandross's original invention, many refined versions have been created. It is believed that Edwin Chandross had bad luck patenting the model, unfortunately, since it was already done when Richard Taylor Van Zandt took it to the office of U.S. Patents.

Glow sticks are devices meant for single use and are now available in various forms and colors that emanate through the tubes. These tubes are translucent in nature, so that people can see the glowing colors more easily. The inner case is brittle and has a chemical that is surrounded by another, which aids in the reaction and hence produces the glow. If the brittle inner case breaks, then the lights of the two chemicals combine to produce a single mixed unit.

Throughout the past forty years, we have seen glow sticks at various places across the world. Many colors and forms of the light stick are now available, and many people now partake in the activity of glowsticking, which involves swinging the sticks around to create an artistic performance. The biggest benefactor of light sticks is probably the U.S. Department Of Defense. The Department of Defense is known to have a requirement of around 20 million chem-lights for their military activities.

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Comments

Aug 28, 2010 8:37am
Sookie
This is really interesting, I didn't know when these were invented. Great article!
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