Zinc sulfide is a material that glows when light hits it. If light hits the zinc sulfide, it takes in the light’s energy. When the light is turned off, the zinc sulfide will let go of the energy to glow in the dark.
Grade 4 – 6 students
Zinc sulfide is a chemical that produces a glowing effect when light hits it. When the zinc sulfide is in light, it absorbs the energy. If the light is turned off, the zinc sulfide will used its absorbed energy to glow in the dark.
Middle school students
Zinc sulfide is a chemical has a property that produces a glowing effect when light reacts with it. This chemical is composed of atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Light is a form of energy. When the zinc sulfide is exposed to light, it absorbs light energy and its electrons get “excited”. If the light is removed or turned off, the electrons lose their “excitement” and give off its absorbed energy by glowing in the dark.
College-level/ scientific description
Zinc sulfide has a property called phosphorescence in which a material absorbs energy from an electromagnetic radiation source and re-emit that energy as light. When a material absorbs light, its electrons from the ground state in a lower orbital move to a different state in a higher orbital. If the light source is removed, the electrons move from the higher state back to its ground state, slowly losing its energy and emitting light. This creates the glowing effect of materials.