Radiant Green Glowing Radioactive Uranium Glass

Radiant Green Glowing Radioactive Uranium Mosque
Radiant Green Glowing Radioactive Uranium Mosque -- LARRY NUTT / FLICKR

If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, you probably remember the glow-in-the-dark stars we glued to our ceilings as kids. It has been a pleasure for all of us to look at the glowing green galaxy, which consists of turning our bedroom lights on for a few minutes and then turning them off. Of course, we are talking about those who have experienced it.

Many people are curious about fluorescent decorative objects. Our author's interest in these types of objects has always continued. He has transferred his passion to collecting only antique, radioactive, glow-in-the-dark glassware.

This "uranium glass" originated in Germany in the 1830s and 1840s, says Anne Madarasz, chief historian of the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and curator of a long-running exhibition on glass. Glass was seen as an accessory back then. To make tableware attractive to consumers, companies were constantly on the hunt for the next interesting coloring agent.

What is UV Light?

Ultraviolet (UV) is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength between 10 nm (with a frequency of around 30 PHz) to 400 nm (750 THz), shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays.

UV radiation is found in sunlight and accounts for about 10% of the total electromagnetic radiation output from the Sun. It is also produced by electric arcs and special lights such as mercury vapor lamps, tanning lamps and black lights.

Although long wavelength ultraviolet is not considered an ionizing radiation as its photons do not have the energy to ionize atoms, it can cause chemical reactions. It can cause many substances to glow or fluoresce. Consequently, the chemical and biological effects of UV are greater than simple heating effects, and many practical applications of UV radiation are due to its interactions with organic molecules.

Short-wave ultraviolet light damages DNA and sterilizes the surfaces it comes in contact with. For humans, sunburn and sunburn are known effects of skin exposure to UV light, along with an increased risk of skin cancer. The amount of UV light produced by the sun means that Earth would not be able to sustain life on dry land if most of this light was not filtered out by the atmosphere. The more energetic, shorter wavelength “extreme” UV below 121 nm ionizes the air so strongly that it is absorbed before it reaches the ground.[3] However, ultraviolet light (especially UVB) is responsible for vitamin D formation in most land vertebrates, including humans. The UV spectrum therefore has both beneficial and harmful effects on life. (Ref: Wikipedia)

If we go back to our article;

Not to mention uranium oxide, an electrically insoluble and thermally stable source of uranium. As an additive in the glassmaking process, this substance imparts a transparent yellow or yellowish-green hue to the final product. Sometimes, this uranium glass can even appear opaque and colorless.

While this greenish-yellow colorway was popular, it had the undesirable and intriguing side-effect of glowing bright fluorescent green under ultraviolet (UV) light.

Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelengths than visible light. This is why you should wear sunscreen on a hot summer day to avoid sunburn.

Ultraviolet light is also the only foolproof method for identifying true radioactive uranium glass.

A black light causes uranium glass to glow a rich green color, according to the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Museum of Radiation and Radioactivity. (A small handheld UV flashlight like this might do the trick).

To be clear, it's not the radioactivity of the uranium oxide that causes the glass to glow. Rather, it's the chemistry of uranium that gives the eerie slime-colored incandescence.

"Uranium fluoresces under UV light because the UV induces electrons to raise them to a higher energy level, which then releases photons as the electrons return to the lower energy level," says Naomi Marks, a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Source: PopularMechanics

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