5 4

In insomnia fueled curiosity at 3am. "Hey, I wonder how dense steam gets, and how fast it condenses at -6 degrees below zero?" It looked cool. So, the next logical question is "oooo, how will it look with a laser through it?" Then, how about with UV light too?".

And so there it is. -6f, kettle steam with UV and laser light.

** Whats interesting is the strong clean delineation between the UV and laser light. They were at different angles, with really variable amounts of steam between them, yet its a very consistent line. This kind of play is always fun because it gives new questions to think about.

Observer-Effect 7 Feb 15
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Probably not enough electrons left to excite with UV light near the area of steam close to the green light, or vice-verse? The photon-flux near the laset beam is probably making it hard to see UV excited electrons. Can you play with the wattage of the laser?


I had to check this out. Dig the laser.

Anonamoose Level 5 Feb 17, 2020

Is there fluorescence here? If so, from what?

Coffeo Level 7 Feb 15, 2020

I don't believe so, the UV light is just directly coloring the steam blue, and the laser green. But now that you've mentioned that - I wonder how a strongly fluorescent material would look in steam and/or smoke. I'm going to take some uranium glass and hit it with strong UV in steam/smoke and see how that looks. This picture is of some of the glass in my collection under UV light.

@Observer-Effect If there is no fluorescence, where and how is the conversion to visible light taking place?

@Coffeo ? The light in the steam is visible as soon as it leaves the laser diode, and UV diodes. That's just reflection we are seeing. In the Uranium glass hit by UV, now that's florescence.

@Observer-Effect The uranium glass artifacts are very striking. But aside from the uranium glass, what else is making the UV light visible? If it isn't fluorescence, then it would have to be the camera. So, when you are just observing this phenomenon (not photographing it), can you see any light from the UV diode when it hits the steam? What happens if you replace the steam with a piece of white card?

@Coffeo Whiteboard sitting on top of my handheld laser/uv dumping shelf. Being illuminated by cheap UV penlight I use for uranium prospecting. Thinking as I type here . . . these low end LED's are known for being "leaky" - and not real clean UV-A, B or C. So even with all my options, none are for precision testing to be sure.

@Observer-Effect Yes, they are definitely emitting visible light.

@Coffeo I don't need really calibrated lights, I just use them for prospecting, art, and showing the glass in my collection.


I never wondered that. Hm-mm, intriguing; never would have guessed it.

yvilletom Level 7 Feb 15, 2020

Thanks, I was wondering the same thing just the other day. I'm glad you took the time.

jdubose Level 6 Feb 15, 2020
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