Faculty Research at Morehead State University

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A previous TPT article discussed using glow sticks to demonstrate color mixing by comparing the spectra of red, green, and blue glow sticks to those of yellow and magenta glow sticks.1 More recently, a paper in the Journal of Chemical Education describes a method to separate glow stick dyes using chromatography with chalk and a solvent of acetone or alcohol.2 This method, while a valuable experience in a chemistry class, requires the glow stick to be opened. Care must be taken by preparers to remove glass shards, and participants are exposed to possible skin irritants. Here we propose a non-destructive, hazard-free method to “separate” the dyes using the RSpec Explorer spectroscope that can be used as a laboratory experiment or a student project.



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