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7
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1answer
216 views

Why does separating plastic from a cough drop create flashes?

I was tearing open individually-wrapped cough drops in the dark, and noticed that when I pulled apart two adhesive-joined pieces of silvery plastic film, small flashes of light were produced. It was ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

Density of Solid States of Compounds

One of the wonderful properties of water (as my high school biology teacher would say) is that in its solid form, it is lighter than its liquid form. This means that when temperatures drop below 0 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does stuff glow in the dark?

Many things have glow in the dark properties (glow sticks, paint, toys ..), and I am wondering what is the physics behind them. How do these materials store light energy and emit it later when dark? ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What determines the color of a pure substance and is it possible to predict it?

I have always wondered why salt is white, water is clear and gold is, well, gold. What determines the color of a substance? Does it have something to do with the electrons? And is it possible to ...
2
votes
3answers
519 views

How do the molecules of reacting compounds proceed to form “Most Stable” molecule?

This question is a cross post from chemistry. I'm not very convinced with the answer there. So, I'm posting it here. I'm tutoring few students for Chemistry. During the course, I many times use the ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Where to find detailed measured emission spectra of all chemical elements?

I'd like to have something like this, but for single atoms and with more extended range of wavelengths. All I could find e.g. for hydrogen was lots of talks about Rydberg formula etc. and plots of ...