Life Saver Candy Lights up like Lightning When Smashed
Have you ever realized that when you're eating Wint-O-Green Life Savers, they spark?
This isn't something so shocking since all hard sugar-based candies emit some degree of light when they're breaking, and this effect is called triboluminescence; which is an optical phenomenon in which light is generated through the breaking of chemical bonds in a material.
If a friend would come to you with an idea of crashing a Life Saver, it wouldn't sound so much fun, but it actually lights up like lightning after being smashed.
Linda M. Sweeting, a chemist at Towson University, explains in a blog post, "It appears that triboluminescence is lightning on a very small scale. When the sugar is cracked, electrical charge is separated, positive from negative, and when there is a big enough charge accumulation (electric field) the electrons jump through the air in the crack, colliding with and exciting the nitrogen molecules as they do."
You can basically do this experiment just by eating Life Savers in the dark, or you can watch this video to see in slow-motion how it lights up after being smashed by a hammer.