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What is the difference between a phosphorescent source and a fluorescent source?

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Answered 2008-08-22 05:33:45

phosphorescent is glowing in the dark;reusing old light it has stored, like a glow in the dark keychain fluorescent is something that glows when energy is applied to it, such as the fluorescent lightbulb As the name implies, phosphorescent comes from the element phosphorus. Many other substances which are not phosphorus can fluoresce at certain wavelengths of light. I agree phosphorous like sea waves sometomes.

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Classically, phosphorescent substances absorb energy and then re-emit it for an extended time afterwards. Fluorescent substances "down-convert" higher frequencies to lower frequencies and don't emit after the energy source has been removed. Boosting the energy levels of orbiting electrons that fall back to lower levels and thus emit a photon, produce light. There are also other ways to do this--incandescence (by heat), bioluminescence (little creatures' chemistry), triboluminescence (friction), chemiluminescence (chemistry), electroluminescence (electrically), sonoluminescence (by sound waves), Bremstrahling (atomic braking radiation) and more.


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They are sort of related; however, glow in the dark materials are actually referred to as phosphorescent. The whole idea behind photoluminescence is that a material absorbs radiation (light) and then re-emits it. Phosphorescent materials absorb light, but release it at a much slower rate. Therefore, they absorb light when they are exposed to it, and then continue releasing it after the light source is removed. Fluorescence, on the other hand, is a material that that absorbs ultraviolet radiation (such as light from a black light) and then releases visible light.


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