X-Ray DIY with Scotch tape and a vacuum


Okay, so not everyone had a vacuum (and I’m not talking about the upright in the cupboard you use once a week to clean the carpets) available – but almost everyone has a roll of Scotch tape lying around. Apparently the effect of peeling of a piece of Scotch tape from the roll (when enclosed in a vacuum) releases enough X-rays to image a bone in your hand!

This kind of energy release — known as triboluminescence and seen in the form of light — occurs whenever a solid (often a crystal) is crushed, rubbed or scratched. It is a long-known, if somewhat mysterious, phenomenon, seen by Francis Bacon in 1605. He noticed that scratching a lump of sugar caused it to give off light.

Believe it or not – go take a look at the Nature website to read more.

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2 Responses to “X-Ray DIY with Scotch tape and a vacuum”

  1. i feel the urge to experiment, all of a sudden!

  2. @S – yeah me too, if only I could get my hands on a vacuum though…

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