American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Persistent emission of light following exposure to and removal of incident radiation.
- n. Emission of light without burning or by very slow burning without appreciable heat, as from the slow oxidation of phosphorous: "He saw the phosphorescence of the Gulf weed in the water” ( Ernest Hemingway).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state or character of being phosphorescent; the property which certain bodies possess of becoming luminous without undergoing combustion. Phosphorescence is sometimes a chemical, sometimes a physical action. When chemical, it consists essentially in slow oxidation attended with evolution of light, as in the case of phosphorus. When physical, it consists in the continuation of the molecular vibrations causing the emission of light after the body has ceased to be exposed to the light-radiation (or, more generally, radiant energy) to which this motion is due; this is seen in the case of the diamond, chlorophane, sugar, barium and calcium sulphids, and many other substances. Phosphorescence is also produced in some crystals (diamond, calcite, etc.) by exposure to the electrical discharge in a vacuum-tube. The phosphorescence of the sea is produced by the scintillating or phosphorescent light emitted from the bodies of certain marine animals. The luminosity of plants is a condition under which certain plants (always, so far as now known, Thallophytes) evolve light. The so-called luminosity or phosphorescence of decaying wood is due to the presence of the mycelium of Agaricus melleus. Other luminous fungi are Agnricus olearius, A. igneus, A. noctilus, and A. Gardneri. Various algæ and diatoms also exhibit tins phenomenon. See cut under
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The quality or state of being phosphorescent; or the act of phosphorescing.
- n. A phosphoric light.
- n. a fluorescence that persists after the bombarding radiation has ceased
- From phosphorescent (Wiktionary)
“This event is often referred to as phosphorescence, because when it was first studied, the light was mistakenly assumed to be caused by phosphorus.”
“Observing that the water charged with gelatinous particles is in an impure state, and that the luminous appearance in all common cases is produced by the agitation of the fluid in contact with the atmosphere, I am inclined to consider that the phosphorescence is the result of the decomposition of the organic particles, by which process (one is tempted almost to call it a kind of respiration) the ocean becomes purified.”
“I am inclined to consider that the phosphorescence is the result of organic particles, by which process (one is tempted almost to call it a kind of respiration) the ocean becomes purified.”
“Suppose that in an exhausted bulb, under the molecular impact, the surface of a piece of metal or other conductor is rendered strongly luminous, but at the same time it is found that it remains comparatively cool, would not this luminosity be called phosphorescence?”
“= -- While the luminosity possessed by certain fungi cannot be said to be of distinct utility, their phosphorescence is a noteworthy phenomenon.”
“The so-called phosphorescence of most inorganic bodies is one of a totally different nature from that exhibited in organic forms.”
“It is called phosphorescence," replied the doctor, leaning over the bulwarks, and looking down at the fiery serpent that seemed as if it clung to the ship's rudder.”
“From this vantage point she could look across the vast undulating slopes of Haleakala's base, down to the shoreline, the crescent beach just beginning to glimmer with an odd kind of phosphorescence and the utterly black feathery silhouettes of the slender-boled palms.”
“The diamond is one of the best examples of this kind of phosphorescence, for if exposed to sunlight for a while, then covered and rapidly taken into black darkness, it will emit a curious phosphorescent glow for from one to ten seconds; the purer the stone, the longer, clearer and brighter the result.”
“In the case of two flint stones, the light that is perceived is of an entirely different nature, for it is a phosphorescence which is produced, even by a very slight friction, not only between two pieces of silex, but also between two pieces of quartz, porcelain, or sugar; and that the heat developed is but slight is proved by the fact that the phenomenon may occur under water.”
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