Find Me on Facebook Follow Me on Pinterest Follow Me on Twitter Follow Me on Google+ Watch Me on YouTube Instagram

Halloween Science: Fluorescent Chlorophyll

 Posted by on October 14, 2014
Oct 142014
 

Looking for a fun Halloween science demo to impress your friends? Try this glowing experiment with chlorophyll and a black light. Chlorophyll is green under normal light, but fluoresces red under UV light.

Halloween Science: Fluorescent Chlorophyll

Halloween Science

Glowing Experiment

Materials:

  • a large handful of green leafy vegetables or herbs {I used kale. Try spinach, cilantro, parsley, or even mint.}
  • pan of boiling water
  • tongs
  • ice bath {bowl filled with ice and water}
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • blender
  • fine mesh strainer
  • black light

Chlorophyll Extraction

Halloween Science: Chlorophyll Extraction

Instructions:

  1. Wash a large handful of green leafy vegetables. {I used kale.}
  2. Place the green leafy vegetables in boiling water for 1 minute. {This step should be done by adults only.}
  3. Take the green leaves from the boiling water and place in the ice bath for 1 minute. {This step should be done by adults only.}
  4. Place the green leaves into the blender. Add a little oil and blend. If needed, add more oil. You want the leaves to blend well into a thin liquid.
  5. Strain the green oil through a fine mesh strainer. {Chunky leafy goo will remain on top of the strainer; oil will fall through.}
  6. The chlorophyll is now infused in the oil.

Chlorophyll is green under regular light, but will fluoresce red under a black light.

Halloween Science: Fluorescent Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll fluoresces red under UV light.

Halloween Science

This demonstration is perfect for Halloween. Everyone loves to explore with a black light and see what things fluoresce. Would you ever expect a green oil to look red under UV light? And the red oil really resembles blood. This reminds me of Steve Spangler’s Vampire Goo – it does a similar color change depending on how the light is passing through the goo. Vampire blood – green under normal light; red under UV light? Sounds like Halloween to me!

Even though this activity isn’t very hands-on for kids, they’ll still think it’s cool to observe the color change. Share the science behind what is happening with older kids {and your friends}.

Choose an herb for your green leafy vegetable and you will have an herb infused oil that could be a fun {and tasty} party food.

Vampire Blood - Halloween Science with Fluorescent Chlorophyll

Fluorescent Chlorophyll

The Science Behind It

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants. Boiling the leaves helps allow the chlorophyll to be extracted from the cells. The chlorophyll dissolves in the oil. {Chlorophyll will also dissolve in alcohol but not in water.} Chlorophyll is a pigment that absorbs all wavelengths of visible light except green. This is why plants appear green. The green light is reflected back. The same does not hold true for ultra violet light like that produced by a black light.  The chlorophyll absorbs the UV light and fluoresces a red color. Fluorescence only occurs while the UV light is on. Once you turn it off, the chlorophyll will reflect green light again. {This is not the same as things that glow in the dark after the light is turned off. These objects emit light due to phosphorescence – like my glow in the dark monster shirt.}

Stay connected with Inspiration Laboratories for more Halloween activities. You can find me on TwitterGoogle+, Pinterest, or Facebook .  You can also subscribe to my posts by e-mail.

This post was originally published on October 24, 2012.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

  20 Responses to “Halloween Science: Fluorescent Chlorophyll”

  1. Awesome! We will have to try this!
    Ashley recently posted..Squishing Sight WordsMy Profile

  2. Wow! This is so cool!
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted..Halloween Safety Rules and Ways to Review ThemMy Profile

  3. Pretty much pure awesomeness. I love it!
    Allison recently posted..Halloween Tot TraysMy Profile

  4. My daughter would love experiments like this.. Going to try this over the weekend.. Very cool Trisha.
    Suja Balaji recently posted..Easy recipe with applesMy Profile

  5. I’ve pinned this for when we study botany. Yet another reason to get a blacklight or a UV light.
    Ticia recently posted..Pouring God’s Word into your Kids: Act it OutMy Profile

  6. Very cool!!!
    Megan @ CoffeeCupsandCrayons recently posted..DIY Spooky Spider Lawn DecorMy Profile

  7. Awesome. Also a great lesson in ART Complementary Colors.
    Lora Langston/Kids Creative Chaos recently posted..Tag, You’re it! Silent Tagging Game for Sharing Facebook PagesMy Profile

  8. Great way to make science engaging. My dad is a retired science teacher who also throws a big ‘ol Halloween party for his grandsons every year. I think I’ll pass this one on to him! He’d love it.

  9. Cool! Thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday.
    Christy recently posted..Tip-toe thru Tuesday {Link Party}My Profile

  10. oh wow, that is brilliant. I didn’t know that.

    Thanks so much to linking up and I’m so sorry for the late comment. x

  11. This is the perfect Halloween science experiment! I need to get a UV light…
    maryanne @ mama smiles recently posted..Crafting while Traveling with Pom Tree KidsMy Profile

 Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge