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Electromagnetic Waves - What are Ultraviolet Waves?

Ultraviolet Waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
waves were discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter
when he looked for other waves outside of the
visible region after he had heard about the discovery of
infra-red waves by Herschel. Ultraviolet waves
are often called ultraviolet light or ultraviolet radiation.

Why are Some Materials Fluorescent?

Some materials will absorb (take in) the energy from
ultraviolet waves and emit (give out) the energy as visible light.
These materials are called fluorescent and are
used for fluorescent lighting and security marking.
Ultraviolet light is used to detect forged (fake) bank notes.

What Effect has Ultraviolet Light from the Sun

Ultraviolet light from the Sun causes skin to tan.
Sunbeds emit ultraviolet light to give an artificial tan.

Intense ultraviolet light in strong sunlight can
damage cells which are deep inside skin tissue.
This type of damage can result in skin cancer.
Darker skin is more resistant to ultraviolet light
than lighter skin. To be safe, avoid strong sunlight
or use a skin block (see the page on sunscreens).

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light can cause
clouding of the transparent lens within the eye.
This condition (known as a cataract) can cause
dimming of vision or even complete blindness.
It is important to wear good sunglasses in strong sunlight.

Some ultraviolet light is absorbed by the ozone layer.
Very intense ultraviolet light will kill living cells.
Ultraviolet light
can be used to disinfect water.
Ultraviolet light
can also be used to start chemical reactions.

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