Differences between Fluorescence, Phosphorescence, Incandescence

Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_16099" align="alignright" width="440"] Iridescence[/caption] Fluorescence, phosphorescence, incandescence. Though they sound similar, yet they are different. The differences need not be intimidating. First we’ll provide a brief definition of each; afterward, an explanation. We’ll add a few other similar sounding terms as well. These include iridescence, chemiluminescence, and radioluminescence. Fluorescence First, let us note that every one of these terms possesses some connection to light. Fluorescence is the rapid, even immediate emission of radiation, visible or invisible, proceeding the absorption of higher frequency (higher energy, shorter wavelength) radiation such as ultraviolet light. Certain rocks and minerals as well as marine biological specimens are fluorescent emitters. Phosphorescence [caption id="attachment_16101" align="alignright" width="360"] Phosphorescence[/caption] Similar to fluorescence, except the radiation takes place slowly over an extended time period. Heat and combustion are not…
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Buttercups Glow at Night

Biology, Plants
Believe it or not, buttercups glow at night. Before bed, I take our rather large dog for her nighttime walk so there will be no “accidents.” I am old and weigh 300 lbs., so I take the direct route, along the driveway. There are margins of grass and weeds on either side. In late summer, for about the past several years, I have seen these tiny lights glow, then fade, glow then fade. When I first spotted them, I hustled back to get a flashlight so I could see what the little accordion-like creatures. Turns out they were glowworms. Sing with Me Now Of course the song Glow Little Glow Worm by the Mills Brothers came immediately to mind. But imagine my surprise when, one night in mid-spring I saw a…
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