Video: Electromagnetic Wave Applications

Which of the following would be a typical application of ultraviolet radiation? [A] Producing fluorescence [B] Imaging the interiors of objects [C] Heating objects [D] Transmitting signals through fiber cables.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following would be a typical application of ultraviolet radiation, 1) producing fluorescence, 2) imaging the interiors of objects, 3) heating objects, or 4) transmitting signals through fiber cables?

Now let’s go through each of these options one by one and see which one is an application of ultraviolet radiation. Number one, producing fluorescence, oh so it looks like we’ve hit the jackpot here!

The first option that we’ve got is actually an application of ultraviolet radiation, because we can shine ultraviolet radiation onto a fluorescent object. The fluorescent object will then absorb this radiation and emit visible light.

And often, we see really really pretty colours when these objects undergo fluorescence. So yes, number one is a typical application of ultraviolet radiation. But let us go through the other three to make sure they’re not actually applications of UV. So number two, imaging the interiors of objects, well this is most commonly done with X-rays.

For example, when we suspect we’ve broken a bone, we go to the doctors and they take an X-ray image. So no, this is not a typical application of UV radiation. Number three, heating objects, well this is a most common application of infrared radiation. The heat that we give out from our bodies itself is infrared radiation.

And often most objects absorb infrared radiation really well. So if we want to heat up the object, then we supply it with infrared radiation. Therefore, number three is also not an application of UV radiation. Finally, number four, transmitting signals through fiber cables.

Now this is most commonly done using visible light. We use the principle of total internal reflection in order to send visible light down a fiber cable. So as we suspected, number four is also not a typical application. And hence, our final answer is that producing fluorescence is a typical application of ultraviolet radiation.

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