Ever wonder what causes that oh-so-magical GLOW IN THE DARK effect?


tourmalinated quartz glowie


Here we go.


Things that glow in the dark -- EVIESKI glowskis, bioluminescent phytoplankton, some species of coral, jellyfish, and fungi -- contain phosphors which have slightly different Power Law Decay properties than non-glowing materials.  


Phosphorescence refers to the emission of light from a substance (phosphor) after having absorbed light of a different color (excitation wavelength). It is unique from other forms of luminescence in that the emission occurs over very long time scales, in some cases minutes or hours after absorption of the excitation light.


Fluorescence, on the other hand, ceases emitting light from the absorbed energy source as soon as it is turned off - on the order of nano seconds.


Phosphorescence is also distinct from bioluminescence (the process by which some animals glow in the dark) and chemiluminescence (the process by which glow sticks function) in that the energy that drives phosphorescence comes from the absorption of light, as opposed to a metabolic process or chemical reaction


This is why phosphorescent materials need to be charged by exposing them to light, and why they stop glowing only after long periods without exposure.


When the phosphors are exposed to a bright light source (both in the visible spectrum and UV light), the atoms' electrons absorb the photon energy and jump from their relaxed singlet state to a higher energy triplet state of high spin multiplicity, which means they get trapped in a magnetic moment from which they cannot rapidly escape.


Instead, they decay by "forbidden transitions" theorized in quantum mechanics, which aren't really forbidden, but rather, just leisurely.  As a result, photons are emitted from the phosphor for the following 1-12 hours.


This is seen by our eyes as a slow glow.

Is your brain undergoing high spin multiplicity yet?









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