Ultraviolet Light and Black Light:
a beginner's guide
by David Rudd Cycleback
© 2008 Cycleback, all rights reserved



1) Introduction

2) What is ultraviolet light?

3) The different kinds of UV light

4) Your tool for this guide: a black light

5) Where does ultraviolet light come from? How was it discovered? Why can't we see it?

6) How are black lights made?

7) Practical and interesting uses for your black light

8) Examining art and collectibles: Introduction

9) Identifying modern fakes of antique paper memorabilia

10) Identifying counterfeit US currency

11) Identifying alterations to art, collectibles

12) Examining cloth

13) Examining art glass

14) Making glow in the dark art and crafts

15) Protecting yourself from the Sun's UV

16) UV light in science and industry




1 : Introduction

This guide is an introduction to ultraviolet light and a guide to using black light, a form of ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a range of light invisible to human eyes. While it cannot be seen, UV light is useful to humans in a wide range of areas. Astronomers measure UV light to study stars and planets. Medical doctors use UV light to identify and treat ailments. Geologists use UV light to identify gems. Ephemera collectors use UV to identify fake collectibles. Police detectives use UV in criminal investigations. Civil engineers use UV to purify water and air. Kids and kids at heart use UV to make cool glow in the dark art. The list goes on and on.

As you'll see in this book, one of the keys to ultraviolet light is that it makes some materials fluoresce or glow in the dark. This florescence ranges in color and brightness, and helps scientists and hobbyists identify and study material. This fluorescence is also what also allows people to make glow in the dark arts and crafts.


Next: What is ultraviolet light?

(c) david rudd cycleback, all rights reserved