The Phantastic Photon

A CIPT Lab Exercise in Modern Physics


The color of light is directly related to the energy and wavelength of the photons that compose that light. Students investigate these relationships by shining colored light from super-bright LEDs onto glow-in-the-dark tape and fluorescent paints. First they determine which LEDs activate the tape, measure their wavelength and calculate photon energies. Then students are asked to apply their knowledge of photons to predict which paints will fluoresce when exposed to light from a particular LED.

Appropriate Levels

Regents Physics.

Time Required

2, 40-minute class periods.


A Phantastic Photon kit is available from West Hill Biological Resources as Catalog #CNS-401. A complete list of supplies is available elsewhere on the supply page for this lab.

CNS-401 - Phantastic Photon
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Jim Overhiser
Gil Toombes
Monica Plisch