Cold Light: Creatures, Discoveries, and Inventions that Glow

Overview

Luminescence sheds light on the adventure of science. Scientists and many others have explored the science and wonder of cold light—the chemistry of animals and things that make light but not heat. A seventeenth-century alchemist tried to turn a stone into gold. He failed, but the stone glowed in the dark instead. The alchemist began to mold the first luminescent objects. A light also came on one night for the famous chemist Robert Boyle. After he saw a raw chicken glowing in his kitchen, he began his own ...

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Overview

Luminescence sheds light on the adventure of science. Scientists and many others have explored the science and wonder of cold light—the chemistry of animals and things that make light but not heat. A seventeenth-century alchemist tried to turn a stone into gold. He failed, but the stone glowed in the dark instead. The alchemist began to mold the first luminescent objects. A light also came on one night for the famous chemist Robert Boyle. After he saw a raw chicken glowing in his kitchen, he began his own research into luminescence. With light humor, Anita Sitarski brings the thrill of discovery to life as she recounts the stories of the alchemist, chemist Robert Boyle, the adventurers who first saw bizarre creatures glowing in the depths of the sea, and others. Awe-inspiring, full-color photographs accompany the compelling, fact-filled text in these scientific explorations.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joella Peterson
From the first look at the florescent endpapers, a reader will know that this book is a bright spot for explaining the science of cold light. Sitarski explains the history of cold light; from how cold light was first "discovered" to what experiments scientists are doing now and how cold light is helping the population in general everyday. Scientific explanations are explained clearly—without being too condescending or complicated for young readers. For example, when explaining about bioluminescent mushrooms Sitarski writes "fungi are organisms so strange that they need their own kingdom, separate from both plants and animals." She is also not afraid to throw in scientific names and explanations throughout the text, but she does it in such a way that young readers will actually understand her. The beautiful photographs are the highlight of the book. These pictures show details of the text so clearly that one might almost want to touch the squid or experiment with his or her own bioluminescent bacteria-ridden chicken. Even with such an obscure scientific subject for young scientists, readers will enjoy this understandable explanation. Reviewer: Joella Peterson
Kirkus Reviews
Sitarski offers a well-organized and thorough introduction to light that is produced by something other than heat. In short chapters amply illustrated with color photographs, the author includes descriptions of photoluminescence, bioluminescence and chemiluminescence, the history of their discovery and a clear explanation of some of their new uses, including those made possible by recombinant DNA. She treats this complex subject with respect but also with a lighthearted tone and ample use of puns likely to appeal to the middle-school reader. While there have been a number of juvenile titles about bioluminescence, there is nothing else available at this level on photoluminescence, chemiluminescence or the general subject of cold light. With a bibliography that includes rich websites and even a place to purchase bioluminescent organisms for science projects, this should be a first purchase for school and public libraries supporting science-fair participants. (bibliography, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590784686
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,463,003
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.84 (w) x 9.68 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita Sitarski has combined her loves of teaching and science in a career spanning more than twenty years. She has taught in the classroom and online, and as education director for a historic house-museum. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State with her husband, Michael, and her son, Kevin. Cold Light is her first book.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     5
How Can You Be So Cold?: The Stone That Captured the Sun     7
Back Off, I Need Some Air: The Chicken That Glowed in the Dark     11
What's in a Name?: The Inside Story of Fire Beetles and Glowing Mushrooms     16
They're Everywhere: Shedding Light on Bioluminescent Creatures     20
Don't Bother Me, I'm Busy: The Secret Lives of Glowing Sea Creatures     23
You Light Up My Life: Those Special Fireflies     28
Send In the Clones: New Frontiers in Bioluminescence Research     32
I Don't Need You Anymore: Jellyfish GFP and Beyond     37
New Kids on the Block: Man-Made Cool Light     41
Epilogue     44
To Learn More     45
Glossary     46
Index     47
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