What a name! And oh, how it GLOWS!
Of course you know that luminescence is giving off LIGHT, right?
To be specific, luminescence is COLD light, as opposed to incandescence, which is light produced by HEAT.
Without heat, light can be produced chemically (as in bioluminescence — light produced by living organisms), by electric current, by the absorption of photons, by a few other means that are more difficult to explain, and finally, by mechanical means. Triboluminescence falls into this last category, as it is caused by friction on the surface of certain materials — like SUGAR! 😛
Want to see triboluminescence in action? Try chewing up some sugary candy in the dark in front of a mirror (takes some practice to get the timing right) or smashing up lifesavers with a hammer (watch those fingers in the dark!). See the last two of the five links below, for more ideas. 😀
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