Pinpointing biomolecules with nanometer accuracy

It would be impossible to understand life without having a firm grasp on the microscopic interactions between molecules that occur in and around cells. Microscopes are and have been an invaluable tool for researchers in this ...

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used fans to clear the air when the fluorescent lights caught fire or smoked with noxious fumes. When black oil dripped onto desks and floors, ...

Shipment tracking for 'fat parcels' in the body

Without fat, nothing works in the body: Fats serve as energy suppliers and important building blocks, including for the envelopes of living cells. Numerous diseases are related to disorders in fat metabolism such as obesity ...

DNA-PAINT super-resolution microscopy at speed

Recent advances in fluorescence microscopy allow researchers to study biological processes below the classical diffraction limit of light. Ralf Jungmann, Professor for Experimental Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt ...

New fluorescence method reveals signatures of individual microbes

When viewed with specialized microscopes, microbial cells show an individual fluorescence pattern, or signature, that depends on the mixture of biomolecules contained within the cells. That complex mixture, with its telltale ...

Cleaning with bleach could create indoor air pollutants

For generations, people have used chlorine bleach to clean and disinfect their homes. However, researchers have now discovered that bleach fumes, in combination with light and a citrus compound found in many household products, ...

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Fluorescence

Fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation of a different wavelength. It is a form of luminescence. In most cases, emitted light has a longer wavelength, and therefore lower energy, than the absorbed radiation. However, when the absorbed electromagnetic radiation is intense, it is possible for one electron to absorb two photons; this two-photon absorption can lead to emission of radiation having a shorter wavelength than the absorbed radiation.

The most striking examples of fluorescence occur when the absorbed radiation is in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum, and thus invisible to the human eye, and the emitted light is in the visible region.

Fluorescence has many practical applications, including mineralogy, gemology, chemical sensors (fluorescence spectroscopy), fluorescent labelling, dyes, biological detectors, and, most commonly, fluorescent lamps.

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