29 September 2010

fluorescent and reflective

Fluorescence and reflectivity have been utilised by the military, industrial workers, cyclists and signage for sometime to highlight and draw attention to things. Due to technical advances and more durable dyes these phenomena have become ubiquitous to the point that we hardly notice anymore.

Fluorescent materials glow brightly because they absorb light in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum and emit light in the visible potion. Therefore, the surface of the material will appear brighter than its surroundings, because it is emitting more visible light. Other than the obvious applications this quality is also utilised more subtly, for example in white paper, textiles and washing detergents to make colour appear brighter.