You are here:



I know there are chemicals that absorb UV and glow. But are there any chemicals that pulsate light at regular intervals like fire flies?

There are biological systems (like the fireflies you mention) that pulsate, but they're regulated by a ton of other complex factors because they're living organisms interacting with their complex environment.  In general, any simpler chemicals that absorb UV light and fluoresce in the visible will continuously transfer that energy.  You'd have to hit it with pulsating light or some other regulating factor like a temperature fluctuation.


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.