What is Ultraviolet Light (UV)?

People new to the hobby of fluorescent minerals typically have a lot of questions about UV. What is the difference between shortwave (SW), midwave (MW), and longwave (LW)? Is UV light harmful? What kind of bulbs/tubes/LEDs are needed to generate UV? I came across a couple of videos that are pretty basic and answer these questions quite clearly.

First a quick explanation of the light spectrum and why 365nm is important to us as fluorescent mineral collectors (as well as filters). Of course this video is trying to sell something - a 365nm LED light for >$1,000 (hint - don't buy it unless you've got really deep pockets). But it's a good explanation of UVA (longwave) and visible light.

Secondly an explanation of the various types of UV tubes/bulbs available (and a little about the dangers):

Third - a few experiments with Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescence. Also explained are the three colors of UV and phosphorescence.

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