Bright Blooms That Glow

Certain flowers fluoresce, giving off a spooky light.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM September 16, 2005

The screaming pinks, blazing oranges, neon reds and acid greens of many posters and signs owe their brightness to the way those materials are affected by light.

 

The secret to these bright colors is called fluorescence. A material, such as a pigment, fluoresces if it absorbs light of a certain wavelength and then, in turn, gives off light of a longer wavelength. For example, it might absorb ultraviolet light (black light), which is invisible to the human eye, and give off an eerie, greenish gl...

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