Since the time of Davy, it has been known that freshly cut surfaces of sodium, when viewed in the dark, give off a faint light. G. Rebaul, in 1910, stated that the effect was due to the formation of the hydroxide upon reacting with the moisture in the air. In this article a series of experiments to determine the nature of the chemical reaction which caused the luminescence are described. It was found that the light was accompanied by the liberation of hydrogen, but that its liberation was not always accompanied by luminescence. Reactions in which halides were formed produced no light. The luminescence was evidently due to the breaking of a hydrogen-oxygen bond of a vaporous polar molecule.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1931 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Bowie, R. M.
"The Chemiluminescence of Solid Sodium,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 38(1), 219-220.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol38/iss1/70