Glowing minerals

How can you make minerals glow?

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion


  • flu­o­rite;
  • mar­ble;
  • foil;
  • heat­ing de­vice.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Cov­er a heat­ing de­vice with a piece of foil. Put some flu­o­rite and mar­ble on the foil and heat the sub­stances in the dark. Note that flu­o­rite glows blue and mar­ble glows or­ange.

Process de­scrip­tion

Flu­o­rite and mar­ble are min­er­als that, in na­ture, are filled with en­er­gy due to nat­u­ral ra­di­a­tion. This doesn't make them ra­dioac­tive, but it does give them one in­ter­est­ing prop­er­ty – they glow! This glow can be ob­served if the flu­o­rite or mar­ble is heat­ed, for ex­am­ple, over a can­dle flame. When heat­ed, some of the elec­trons that have tran­si­tioned to their so-called un­sta­ble or, as chemists say, ex­cit­ed state, leave this state and emit the ac­cu­mu­lat­ed en­er­gy in the form of a glow.