How to Make Glowing Crystals

Grow your own crystals.
••• Red Crystals image by Dmitry Reviakin from Fotolia.com

"Crystals are solids that form by a regular repeated pattern of molecules connecting together," according to the website, Kiwi Web. Creating crystals, J. Bohm writes in his paper, "The History of Crystal Growth," dates back to prehistoric time when man crystallized salt from the sea. Among the earliest written accounts, early Roman historian Phinius mentions the crystallization of salt. Creating crystals can be simple and fun. Glowing crystals will grow when you follow these steps.

    Use a glass jar.
    ••• empty glass jar image by vadim kozlovsky from Fotolia.com

    Put on your gloves. Cut two fluorescent markers in half. Remove the felt inserts and place them in a bowl with 3 1/3 ounces of water. Let them soak for 15 minutes. Squeeze any remaining ink from the felt into the water.

    Make a seed in a Peri dish.
    ••• Bacteria Colonies image by ggw from Fotolia.com

    Pour the mixture into a glass jar. Add two grams of alum to the fluorescent water. Stir it until the alum dissolves.

    Pour a small amount of the saturated solution into a Petri dish. Put the lid on the jar. Allow the jar to sit in a warm place overnight. The solution will form crystals. Choose the largest crystal to be your "seed." Tie the seed crystal to a thin piece of cotton thread.

    Pour the rest of the solution into a clean jar. Tie the other end of the string to a pencil. Without touching the sides or bottom of the new jar, lower the string with your seed crystal into the solution. Rest the pencil on top of the jar. Set the jar aside for several days. As the solution evaporates, you will see more crystals forming. The seed crystal will grow larger.

    Grow a giant alum crystal. Leave the crystal in the solution for an extended period of time. Replenish the alum solution as it evaporates.

    Check your crystals. Set them under a black light. A successful experiment produces glowing crystals.

    Things You'll Need

    • Alum
    • Bowl
    • Water
    • Pencil
    • Stir stick
    • Petri dish
    • Plastic gloves
    • Glass jar with lid
    • Hot distilled water
    • Thin cotton gloves
    • 2 fluorescent markers

    Tips

    • Color the crystals with a fluorescent marker if the color fades or is not bright enough.

    Warnings

    • Not all fluorescent markers glow well. Check them under a black light before you choose one.

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