Introduction: Glow in the Dark Jello!

This tutorial will show you how to make Jello... that glows! It uses ingredients that are all edible so you can enjoy eating it after it's made! The Jello is easy to make and the longest part is waiting for it to chill. Prep time is around 10 minutes and the chill time in the refrigerator is 4 hours.

So why does the Jello glow? Quinine (an ingredient in tonic water) is a fluorescent substance. These substances absorb ultraviolet light and then re-emit it. The light emitted has a longer wavelength than the one absorbed which makes the light visible and causes quinine to glow. When you substitute tonic water for regular tap water when making the Jello, it adds the quinine which adds the glow. It is better to use light-colored Jello for maximum glow.

There are some safety consideration to address when working with carbonated drinks and hot stove-top surfaces. First of all, use caution when opening tonic water. If it has been shaken, the lid might fly off and the water overflow. Secondly, always be safe around hot stove-tops. Do not allow children around a hot stove and use caution when working with hot liquid.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need the following:

*Jello (light-colored Jello such as Lemon or Lime will work best for this project)
*16oz of tonic water
*Stove
*Liquid measuring cup
*Small pot for boiling water
*Mixing bowl
*Mixing spoon
*Refrigerator
*Small Table Lamp with fluorescent blacklight (The blacklight must be fluorescent and not simply a colored bulb. It can be purchased at most Wal-Mart locations for around $4.00)

Step 2: Measure Out Tonic Water

Measure out 8oz (1 cup) of tonic water in a liquid measuring cup.

Safety: Use caution when removing the lid from the tonic water. If the water has been shaken, the lid will shoot off and overflow. Allow for the water to settle if the bottle is under pressure.

Step 3: Pour Tonic Water Into Pot

Pour tonic water into pot.

Step 4: Turn Stove Burner on High

Put pot on burner and turn on high.

Step 5: Pour Jello Packet Into Mixing Bowl

While water is boiling, pour Jello packet into mixing bowl.

Step 6: Pour Boiling Water Into Mixing Bowl

Once water has boiled, pour the boiling tonic water into mixing bowl.

Safety: Pot will be hot! If the pot is too hot to grab, use a potholder to remove the water from the burner.

Step 7: Stir Until Dissolved

Stir together Jello and boiling tonic water, making sure that the Jello powder fully dissolves.

Step 8: Add Cold Water

Add one cup of cold tap water to the mixing bowl.

Alternate method: If you would like your Jello to glow more brightly, add one cup of cold tonic water instead of tap water. However, doing this will make the Jello taste more bitter than normal.

Step 9: Chill in Fridge

Place the mixing bowl in the fridge and chill for four hours.

Step 10: Remove and Test With Blacklight

After four hours, remove from fridge. Turn out all lights and turn on the lamp with the blacklight in it. You should have glowing Jello!

Comments

author
Lectric Wizard (author)2013-11-20

This is cool, Can you explain how it works ?

author

we just did some demos in Chemistry involving Quinine in tonic water. The luminescence quinine gives off has to do with how it interacts with a given energy of light.We know light bends in a prism, giving all the different wavelengths of light as a rainbow on one side. You can use certain chemicals to isolate parts of the light, too. It has to do with what wavelengths of light the chemical can absorb. Like plants for example - chlorophyll absorbs all but green light.

author
linfeyagirl (author)ajheatherly2016-03-11

cool!

author

I think it is similar to how the air scatters the blue wavelength to make the sky blue, albeit with the UV wavelength being scattered by quinine to make the jello fluorescent. I might be wrong though, so don't just take my word for it!

author
jmiers1 (author)Lectric Wizard2013-11-23

I don't fully understand it but I know that there's an element in tonic water (quinine) that naturally glows under a blacklight so when you substitute tonic water for regular water, the Jello glows.

author
Lectric Wizard (author)jmiers12013-11-23

OK, Didn't know tonic water had quinine in it or that quinine would glow under UV light. Thanks for the education !!

author
linfeyagirl (author)2016-03-11

thanks for the instructions so cool!

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