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Roger Weller, geology instructor                     

Fluorescent Minerals
Steve Tyminski
Physical Geology
Fall 2007

                               Discovery of Fluorescent Minerals 


  1. Near the end of the 19th century, zinc miners accidentally stumbled upon the phenomenon we know as fluorescence of minerals.  Reportedly, when the light from sparks emitted by poor electrical contact connections occurred, it emitted as ultraviolet light, causing fluorescent illumination in nearby minerals.

  2. The discovery of the ability to view mineral fluorescence led to the subsequent invention of the Iron Arc Lamp, a device which attempted to duplicate the arc-spark of the miners faulty equipment.  What it produced was essentially the equivalent of the spark produced by Arc-Welding.

arc lamp



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