Step 7: The mock x-ray machine and more about fluorescence

This is purely a trick, albeit one that children love.  I normally draw a picture of a skeleton on the back of my hand using a yellow highlighter.  This is only just visible in normal light, but glows strongly under UV, particularly in a darkened room.  If you are really up for some mess, give the children some highlighter pens to play with!

You can do some further explorations into UV by looking at normal copier paper and white clothing.  Copier paper and washing powders both have fluorescent substances added to make them glow slightly and appear 'whiter than white' when there is UV present (as there is outdoors).  This knowledge can be used to extend investigations into the comparison of washing powders to see if they are really cleaning the best, or are getting a helping hand by using fluorescence.
<p>hi glitter bug is too expensive for me to use at school. can you suggest a safe flourescent powder to make my own. thankyou. also have you got any links for micro biology and flourescence?</p>
<p>Not sure I can suggest anything here - there are various brands but I've found the glitterbug potion to be the cheapest and if you buy a large pump dispenser it can last a long time in an educational setting as you only need a small (pea-sized) amount on the hands of each kid. Really would recommend this as it's guaranteed to be safe. I suspect it's actually got the same sort of optical whiteners in as in some clothes washing products but if you use anything not designed to be used as such you'd be taking a risk. The only other common fluorescent substance I'm aware of is the ink in highlighter pens but this typically doesn't wash off well. In terms of fluorescence and microbiology, I've always wanted to grow some bioluminiescent algae, but I believe it's not that easy. Here's a link for that: </p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Grow-Your-Own-Bioluminescent-Algae" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Grow-Your-Own-Biol...</a></p>
Very cool! I had no idea that some flowers had a UV mark. I'm very curious now though. Now I want to get a uv light and go scoping out wild flowers, lol. I've seen emperor scorpians glow and man do they glow! They look super cool and I don't think you need a very strong light to see it on them.
Would love to see that - sadly no scorpions in the UK (where I live) that I know of!
This is super-awesome. Thanks for sharing!

About This Instructable


108 favorites


More by tomward: Ultraviolet Torch Ultraviolet Business Card Flashlight Flashlight Business Card
Add instructable to: