Unpeeling Sticky Tape in a Vacuum Produces X-Rays

Thanks to Jack Cole on Vortex-l for finding this 2008 article on the Nature website.

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angles discovered that when you simply unpeel regular sticky tape in a vacuum, x-rays are emitted — enough to take an image of a finger.

Here’s a video that shows the process at work. At the 4:10 mark you can see how a Geiger counter is able to easily detect the production of radiation.

The article in Nature explains that the phenomenon being investigated was not new:

This kind of energy release — known as triboluminescence and seen in the form of light — occurs whenever a solid (often a crystal) is crushed, rubbed or scratched. It is a long-known, if somewhat mysterious, phenomenon, seen by Francis Bacon in 1605. He noticed that scratching a lump of sugar caused it to give off light.

The leading explanation posits that when a crystal is crushed or split, the process separates opposite charges. When these charges are neutralized, they release a burst of energy in the form of light.

As long ago as 1953, a team of scientists based in Russia suggested that peeling sticky tape produced X-rays. But “we were very sceptical about the old results,” says Escobar.

This article is seven years old now, and this is the first time I have seen it mentioned in the LENR community. A search to see if there has been much follow-up research on this topic uncovered only this thesis titled “Surface Distribution and X-Ray Emission From Scotch Tape” by Kelly McGuire at Brigham Young University Idaho. In this study, the author reported:

I observed that changes in the velocity of the tape unraveling from the spools caused change in the x-ray count. Tests were done to determine if there was a significant difference between x-ray count and different velocities. . . The current hypothesis is that as the tape unravels at higher velocities around the spools, the glue flows more quickly and does not allow for charge to build up on the tape’s surface. In other words, glue flow seems to be dependent on velocity.

It’s interesting to find an interesting and unexpected discovery comes about with an ordinary household item. It reminds me how sticky tape was connected with the discovery of graphene when researchers were able to peel thin layers of carbon from a graphite block with the tape. Maybe there’s a further part sticky tape can play in LENR research, too.

  • bachcole

    We must not tell hysterians about this, or the market for sticky tape is going to collapse. (:->)

  • pg

    Sticky tape, ok…
    On the other hand it is now less than 5 months to the (estimated) conclusion of the 1MW plant test. That is exciting!

  • Dave Lawton

    When we were running our very fast paper tape readers on our computers the could produce excess of 50,000 volts, now that would make a geiger counter rattle.It was due to the high electric field.

  • Ethan Siegel from starts with a bang has hypothesized that Cold Fusion scientists has used this process, or similar, to fake clicks on Geiger counters.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      And the kilowatts of heat are from a hidden hamster.

      • As to my recollection, no hamster was mentioned.

        He mentioned, scientific misconduct, mismeasurement of heat, as well the possibility that Cold Fusion is real.

        Ethan has all these scenarios to consider, how can he find out which one is real. Well he can’t because he dont know how to make a Cold Fusion reactor, and no one wants to invite him for testing because we are all afraid of bad publicity.

        • Alan DeAngelis

          Yeah, and there were accusations that respected researchers were spiking their cells with tritium (the best way to ruin their reputations).

          • “Free the slaves, and build your army”

            The world has drastically changed since 1989.
            We have learned from That situation.

            When history repeats itself, we stand here to take advantage.

  • Frechette

    Opening a Breath Right nasal strip by pulling apart the envelope in which it is packaged will emit light that is clearly visible in a darkened room. The strips are sandwiched between two paper sheets held together with an adhesive. Separating these sheets produces a bluish green light.

  • Frechette

    Wack two pieces of quartz rocks together produces plenty of light. Been there done that when I was a kid more than 60 years ago.

  • The best visible light triboluminesnce I’ve seen was one night when I pulled some self-adhesive sticker off the windshield of a rental car. It was on the inside and I was outside. I’ve always meant to experiment more with sticky on glass….

    The most frequent triboluminesnce I’ve seen was in photographic darkrooms. Film was taped to the spool in the cartridge and peeling it off produced decent light, I think enough to expose the film the tape was on (or the electric field shenanigans did it).

    Both of these are far less energetic than the effect that produces X-rays, and I assume that’s far less energetic than the anti-matter generation recently discovered above some thunderstorms.

  • Rob Lewis

    When I was a kid developing my own photographic film I thought I was crazy the first time I saw the flash of light when I pulled the film off the spool in the darkroom.

    • bachcole

      Rob, don’t get it in your mind that you aren’t crazy, just because of one little confirmation. After all, you are here, and there are numerous people lined up to tell you that you are crazy for believing in LENR. (:->)

  • Omega Z

    On YouTube, search for “triboluminescence” and you’ll find an assortment of this phenomena.

    A form of this that more people would be aware of is the wintergreen mint crunch that gives off a bluish green light in the dark.

    it produces X-rays, When done in a vacuum.(?)
    It appears that X-rays may also cause triboluminescence(?) at a distance. At about 8 minutes- The paper is of Barium Platinocyanide, a Phosphorescent material.

    X-rays(Discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen) are one of those accidental discoveries. Note there are to many Scientists who tend to brush off certain phenomena as artifacts or errors & such.

    It is accidental discoveries that tend to change the world. They can also be dangerous. Consider what they did with X-rays before they new the dangers. Or the consequences for Madame Curie. Will they discover dangers of LENR years after? Some emissions yet unknown…

  • LION

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  • Frechette

    Not sure if it works with quartz frit. I’ll have to give it a try.