Weather Academy: Lightning Mints in the Dark

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 6:43 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Welcome back to the Weather Academy. All month we’ve been learning about lightning and thunder, and today we’re going to be creating lightning right here in the studio using mints.

What you’ll need:

  • Lifesaver Wint-O-Green Mints
  • Darkroom
  • Pliers
  • A glass

For this experiment, you’ll want to be in a very dark room. We will be using the pliers to crush our lifesavers in the dark. If we do this correctly, we should see bluish flashes of light. We will also repeat the experiment by crushing the lifesaver with a glass to see if we get a better flash.

If you do it right, you should see bluish flashes of light. When you break the lifesaver apart, you’re breaking apart sugars inside the candy. The sugars release negative electrical charges in the air. These charges attract the positively charged nitrogen in the air. When the two meet, they react in a tiny spark that you can see, just like lightning in a thunderstorm.

Thank you for joining us on this week’s Weather Academy. If you tried these experiments at home, make sure you upload your photos and videos here, and we’ll feature you on Good Morning ArkLaMiss. And make sure you tune in next week to the weather Academy as we start to dive into fall. We’ll be explaining why leaves change colors.

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