What Makes Glow in the Dark Products Work?


Quick Answer

Glow in the dark products are luminescent because they contain a chemical known as phosphor. Phosphor absorbs energy in the form of photons and then releases it as light, which is why glow in the dark products must be held by a light source before they will glow.

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Full Answer

Phosphor releases the energy slowly, which in turn produces the lasting dim light effect. Fluorescent lights, TV screens and computer monitors are all common products that use phosphor; in each of these cases, light is used to charge the phosphor through different methods. For example, an ultraviolet light charges the phosphor in a fluorescent light, and TV screens utilize thousands of tiny phosphor elements that are energized by an electron beam.

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