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Does Ping Pong Ball Glow In Dark?

Ping pong balls don’t glow in blacklight because they are made from a white material, celluloid. Normal household light bulbs emit a broad spectrum of colors and typically go from red to orange to yellow to green to blue to violet. In this visible spectrum, there is no UV or blacklight radiation at all. Blacklight lamps have been manufactured that emit ultraviolet but the only energy source that seems capable of exciting what’s inside a ping pong ball is gamma rays or X-rays . They can be stimulated in an electron tube called a “cathode ray” in much the same way as in a television picture tube   by applying high voltage charge across two electrical plates with air or other gas between them.

A “neon” lamp produces light excited by high voltage passing through low pressure gas. Neon is just one of the elements that can be stimulated to emit light but helium and argon are also sometimes used .

Experiments With Ping Pong Ball

There was an experiment done where a ping-pong ball was filled with methane, which emits energy at about 5800 angstroms. The researchers claimed it glowed under blacklight but there were no accompanying photographs so it could have been something else emitting the light besides methane. It’s hard to say for sure because there’s nothing in the visible spectrum that will excite or cause any kind of emission from ping pong balls except blue photon radiation (e.g., fluorescence). If you’re interested, you should read this paper on fluorescence.

Generally, the only way to get light out of a ping-pong ball is by adding something that emits within your blacklight spectrum (e.g., phosphorus). Also, if you’re using anything other than argon gas to fill it with, you should probably use helium instead because argon has a tendency to leak out over time.

If you are trying these experiments at home make sure you are properly disposing of whatever chemicals or gases you are using in order to avoid pollution and contamination of the environment. Happy experimenting! For More Visit

The only way to see if they glow is if there’s another source of emission in the same field as your blacklight that would emit light in proximity with it or if you were using a UV LED blacklight. If it’s not emitting at all and staying dark, then there’s no way it will glow in the spectrum that your blacklight provides unless you’re doing something wrong to get that result. You could try this experiment:

You could try getting a sheet of phosphorescent material (e.g., nitrocellulose) cut specifically for gaseous discharge visualization (e.g., “Glow-in-the-Dark Printing Paper” or “Glow in the Dark Printable Circuit Board”) and put them over one another with tape on all sides and shine your blacklight on top of it while letting air pass through, to see if they go together and give off light (the phosphorescent material should glow).

If they don’t go together and the phosphorescent material doesn’t glow, then there’s no way that your blacklight can make it happen. If you want to prove this to yourself (and not just trust someone else), you could try this experiment:

Get a piece of plain paper, put it over some nitrocellulose cut specifically for gaseous discharge visualization side-by-side with some tape on all sides, shine your blacklight on top of it while letting air pass through, and see if they go together and give off light (the phosphorescent material should glow).

You might notice different results if you do so since the paper won’t have its own coloration. But if it doesn’t glow, then you know the paper has nothing to do with it.

If material does glow, however, you will probably notice that it glows dimly because there’s only so much energy your blacklight can give off for one bulb. So if your blacklight is directly touching something that glows under it, you might not see much light since most of the energy isn’t reaching it. If you’re curious, try putting a piece of aluminum foil where the phosphorescent material is and see if that increases or decreases any coloration or brightness change in what’s being viewed with respect to its surroundings.