You are here:



Are there any chemicals that glow in the dark visibly, but are charged with infrared light?

Not really, or none that I can think of.  The problem with that is that you'd have to excite the molecules multiple times.  The energy of photons in the IR spectrum is lower than that of visible light, so it would take multiple photons to give you a single visible-wavelength photon.  The efficiency and percentage of excited atoms is very low, so such a process would be impossibly inefficient.  Barring some thermal conversion to a higher state (meaning some intermediary condition for excitation), this process is unlikely to be able to excite a chemical to be able to glow in the dark.  Novel metamaterials may change that someday, but nothing simple like that should exist (and to my knowledge does not).


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

©2016 All rights reserved.