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How to create photons you can see




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  • 0:00-1:18 Introduction
  • 1:18-5:39 Incandescence
  • 5:59-12:27 Luminescence
  • 12:27-16:40 Fluorescence & phosphorescence
  • 16:40-18:03 Scintillators
  • 18:03-19:15 Conclusion


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External works referenced in this video:
  • [1] Visible Spectra of the Elements
  • [2] Taboada, Carlos, et al. "Naturally occurring fluorescence in frogs." PNAS 114.14 (2017): 3672-3677
  • [3] Anich, Paula Spaeth, et al. "Biofluorescence in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)." Mammalia 85.2 (2021): 179-181
  • [4] Black body spectrum in log-log scale


We created this video for high-school students as a target audience. Therefore, we are using simplified explanations in some situations to make the content more accessible. If you want to dive deeper, you can take a look at the supplementary resources below.

Research articles and presentations: 
  • [1] University-level introduction to luminescence (in French): Valeur, Bernard. "Lumière et luminescence." 2e édition, Bibliothèque Scientifique, Belin, 2017.
  • [2] Valeur, Bernard, and Mario N. Berberan-Santos. "A brief history of fluorescence and phosphorescence before the emergence of quantum theory." Journal of Chemical Education 88.6 (2011): 731-738
  • [3] d’Ambrosio, Carmelo. "A short overview on scintillators." CERN, 13 April 2005
  • [4,5] The Crystal Clear Collaboration conducts research on scintillators and detectors for the LHC and future accelerators