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What are some interesting facts about ultraviolet light?

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ozone | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted October 12, 2008 at 2:48 AM via web

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What are some interesting facts about ultraviolet light?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 12, 2008 at 8:53 AM (Answer #1)

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Ultraviolet or UV light does have some interesting properties. One is that it has both positive and negative effects on human health. On the plus side, exposure to UV helps humans generate vitamin D. On the negative, overexposure increases the risk of skin cancer.


The ozone layer blocks some UV light, which is useful for human health, but which distorts our image of the universe, as very hot stars generate more UV light. That means we see the heavens in a slightly distorted fashion.

Of course, one fun fact about ultraviolet light is that some forms of it (known as black lights) make some things glow that don't glow in normal light.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 6, 2010 at 9:00 PM (Answer #2)

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Sunlamp is a lamp that involves the usage of UV-light, where it shines the ultraviolet radiation onto a person lying on a sunbed. UV-radiation also kills bacteria and viruses, so it is used to sterilize hospital operating rooms and surgical instruments before a surgery begins. Also, in the supermarkets, look closely and you can see low intensity ultra-violet lamps that are placed above grocery meat containers, so that poultry would not rot too easily.

Furthermore, some chemicals fluoresce when ultraviolet light falls on it. These chemicals would absorb the radiation and then emit visible light which makes them glow. You can use this technique in paper chromatography if the dyes are colorless, not visible to the naked eye.

Another interesting fact is that UV-light can be used in banks too. Do you realize when you are making a banking transaction, the bank teller uses a special lamp to read your "invisible" signature in the passbook or use it to check for fake notes. This process actually involves the use of UV-light, as when the notes are scanned by the UV-light, your hidden signature and certain markings on the notes will glow under the UV-light, thus proving its genuineness.

One more thing to note is that washing powders also involve the use of ultra-violet radiation, so your clothes actually "glows" too.

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