Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Impact Phosphorescence

Material that glows when you hit it.
  [vote for,

I can't even begin to fathom the difficulties involved in converting kinetic energy into photons via inert plastic, but I still thing that this would be a cool idea. Make toy swords and body armor that register hits, for instance. It might also find other uses, such as in theater. The stage hand just goes around with a hammer before the show and sets up an hours long glow in strips of guide tape.

Thanks to jimfl and hippo for providing links to and annotations for the partial inspiration for this toy. I considered bioluminescence right after the idea occurred to me, but quickly rejected it on the grounds that I don't know how to create the same reaction within inanimate material.

centauri, Jun 12 2000

The Bioluminscence Page http://lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/
[jimfl, Jun 12 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Biobay http://www.biobay.com/
The world's most bioluminescent bit of water [hippo, Jun 12 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Triboluminescence http://www.geocitie...rest/9911/tribo.htm
related topic: Triboluminescence [hippo, Jun 12 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Glow in the dark Paint http://www.glowinthedarkpaint.com/
Consumer-friendly management [reensure, Jun 12 2000]

pressure sensitive paint http://www.lerc.nas...W/OptInstr/psp.html
Unfortunately, this reacts to oxygen pressure (not impact), and it doesn't glow spontaneously (it requires UV light). [egnor, Jun 12 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Characterization of Organic Illumination Systems http://www.research...hreports/htmlTN-13/
Glow-in-the-dark Pickle expirements... [grly, Jan 13 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Smashing lifesavers http://www.owu.edu/...hemistry/page8.html
triboluminescence in lifesavers candy [cameron, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       There are jellyfish and and plankton which glow when disturbed. I used to walk down the North shore of Long Island, and watch my footsteps fill with light, or stomp on the sand, and watch the sand light up. I've also seen this on the Olympic coast.
jimfl, Jun 13 2000

       Paint cars with it. In case of accidents on dark stretches of highway.
Thing 1, Aug 13 2000


       Thing 1, wouldn't the paint glow *after* an impact?   

       Of course, you could also use such a paint to determine the angle of impact and so on- quite useful in court after an accident (when you're suing the maniac for whiplash). If there were some form of fixative that would prevent the luminescence from dissipating, this might work even better.   

       Imagine also, if you please, the uses for night paintball. Excellent!
BigThor, Sep 06 2000

       Already got night paintball. Glow in the dark paintballs in a building lit with blacklights. Looks like lasers...<Ok, yellow-green, slow moving lasers, but still...>
StarChaser, Sep 06 2000

       Yikes! They're discovering that blacklights are not good for your eyes.
bristolz, Oct 22 2000

       Lots of UV has never been good for your eyes..
StarChaser, Oct 24 2000

       who cares...it's fun!
grly, Jan 13 2002

       I've been swimming in the bioluminescent bay [hippo] links to and I can attest that it is indeed really freekin' cool. The bioluminescent stuff is activated by agitation, along the lines of the idea at hand.
snarfyguy, Nov 10 2002

       The whole point of a glow-stick is that you crack it and then it glows. You break a little vial that has one of the reactants, then it glows for hours.   

       So you make plastic wrap with little chambers, a little like plastic wrap for packages. Inside the chambers is a bubble which pops when the fabric is hit, but the chambers are very tough. If you hit the chambers really hard, they will break too, so that if you're hit very hard in a small spot it makes a glow a little larger than the impact. The outer sheets should be tough enough the the liquid squishes around inside rather than breaking out.   

       It's important to note that the reaction is a little slow with a glow stick, but that's because you're mixing two vials of liquid, one of which is leaking out of its cracked tube. In a tiny chamber with a properly designed bubble mixing should be very fast, though I can't say how fast.
AllenChristopher, May 12 2003

       Cool, hit-and-run cars will be quickly found using this system...
fugazi, Aug 15 2003

       Could this be done by combining piezoelectric materials with electroluminescent ones?
notexactly, May 19 2018


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