"Human life begins in bright flash of light"

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Mark_Smith's picture

commonly emit light. Any time a chemical reaction produces a new chemical state that is lower in energy, a photon is likely emitted. This is not something special.

A fire, for example, is a chemical reaction that emits light due to the products being in a lower energy state than the reactants!!

Aaron Blumer's picture


It's still cool that there is a spectacular (literally, from the right POV) moment when it all starts.

I did think the author was a bit hard on the person he quoted about being able to better tell what eggs are viable. I really didn't see shallow commercialism in that; I saw someone who was thinking of couples trying to bear children and how this could help spare them.

... not sure if there is help here for avoiding the destruction of embryos though. Time will tell.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

Here's the original article with video.  Seriously cool.

Mark is correct that all chemical reactions, a photon is emitted--it's the difference in the work functions of the energy states of the reactants, if I remember the wording correctly.  Really, it's that any exchange of energy, unless it's completely "elastic" like those pool ball experiments we remember from physics in high school or college, and I'm pretty sure that's impossible--entropy and all.  The question is whether there is visible light, and how much of it is emitted.  (if anything, Mark understated the reality here, if I remember things right)

One thing that might be noted here is that a BUNCH of photons are being emitted--50 microns is borderline visible (I'd need reading glasses), so it doesn't appear that you need a supercooled photodetector or anything for this.  Just a nice dark lab and a good digital camera on the microscope.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.