What Is Ultraviolet Light?


Quick Answer

Ultraviolet light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that humans cannot see. It is composed of shorter wave lengths than visible light and lies beyond the blue end of the visible spectrum.

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Full Answer

By exposing photographic paper to light beyond violet, Johann Ritter proved the existence of ultraviolet light in 1801. Blue light turns photographic paper black faster than red light does, and the turning of the paper indicated the presence of light beyond the blue end of the spectrum.

The sun gives off three types of ultraviolet light: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. Ozone in the atmosphere absorbs most of the ultraviolet light emitted by the sun.

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