- Jan 12, 2010
Thanks for sharing! Man I would totally be up for one of those big ones...
Ever since I've stumbled upon this, while perusing all of DX's gadgets and deals, I've wanted it.
DealExtreme: $36.77 Large 1.5-inch Tritium Glowring Keychain (10-Year Green Glow)
After finally deciding to buy one, because $40 is kinda steep for just a key chain, I'm glad I did. When you consider and appreciate what it is, it is truly unique.
The fact that it glows is not whats impressive, it's how it glows.
It's not electricity, or glow in the dark, or incandescent, or bio luminescent, it's not even a chemical reaction...
The tiny vial of Tritium, the same stuff Dr. Octavius used to power his fusion reactor in Spider Man 2 (haha), really does glow quite well! The first question everyone had is "how bright is it". Well considering it doesn't run on batteries and will last over 10 years, it glows pretty bright. Actually I wasn't expecting it to be this bright. It's hard to explain how bright it glows because "perceived" brightness depends on so many things.
When I first unpackaged it I was in a semi lit room and right away I could tell it was emitting it's own light. You can always tell when something is glowing, however faint. It just didn't seem to only reflect ambient light, you could tell that there was a bit more coming from it. Then I cupped it in my hands and, YUP, it is definitely glowing! I could see the green glow emanate from the vial and also the glow reflecting off my fingers. In the dark it best resembles a freshly charged glow in the dark button on a TV remote control in intensity and in color. The color is not monochromatic like a laser, but I can say that it is more of a yellowish green than 532nm light. If your eyes are fully accustomed to the dark then you'd be able to read by the light and it's glare can be seen across the room. I have it sitting on my desk and it is brighter than all the faint LEDs on my various electronic devices. You know what I'm talking about? The green LEDs on my cable box and on my MBP charger, the red LEDs on my Wii and TV... they're all not as bright.
Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen. The nucleus of each atom contains 1 proton and 2 neutrons, and normal hydrogen only contains a single proton. So it's that abnormal number of neutrons that makes it radioactive. The nuclei are unstable and break down by beta decay emitting electrons in the process. Those electrons hit the phosphorescent coating in the vial and emit a green glow just like a glow in the dark substance. The half life of tritium is about 12 years, so in that time the glow will diminish by half.
It's not dangerous either. Well, at least if you don't crack it open and breath the gas. The beta particles don't have enough energy to penetrate the plastic vial. The radiation can only be detected by VERY sensitive equipment. It'll never register on a Geiger Counter.
Taking pictures of it just doesn't do it justice, and my camera sucks. So I'll let you check out the pics on DX's website. But just know that It is brighter than it appears.
10/10 buy it!
BTY the metal ring it comes with is great too. It feels very sturdy but mine was silver not black.