OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 40, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 1950
  • pp: 430–434

Observations on Exceptional Duration of Mineral Phosphorescence

HENRY E. MILLSON and HENRY E. MILLSON, JR.  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 40, Issue 7, pp. 430-434 (1950)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (1277 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The purpose of the present investigation was to obtain data concerning the duration of phosphorescence of minerals. Some minerals with protracted emissions have been discovered and the features of their phosphorescence determined with dark-adapted eyes, and in some cases, with photographic film.

Studies have shown that the phosphorescence caused by a short exposure to 2437A ultraviolet rays will continue for a long period of time. Dark-adapted eyes were used to determine the duration of colored and colorless phosphorescence and photographic film was used to obtain phosphorographs and thereby record the emission of light long after it became imperceptible to the eye. Protracted phosphorescence has been discovered in calcite, fluorite, spodumene, wernerite, willemite, and synthetic phosphors. After an initial exposure of one minute, Texas calcite emitted an afterglow which was distinguishable to dark-adapted eyes for 4600 hours and was capable of producing a photographic image after more than 5½ years. Fluorite from Trumbull, Connecticut, similarly exposed, continued to emit a phosphorescence perceptible to the eye for more than four years. The Texas calcite, fluorite, and spodumene are still phosphorescing.

Data on color and duration of visible phosphorescence of natural minerals are tabulated.

HENRY E. MILLSON and HENRY E. MILLSON, JR., "Observations on Exceptional Duration of Mineral Phosphorescence," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 40, 430-434 (1950)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. E. N. Harvey, Living Light (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1940).
  2. J. DeMent, Fluorochemistry (Chemical Publishing Company, New York, 1945).
  3. E. L. Nickols et al., Carnegie Inst. Rept. No. 284 (1938).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited