AN OUTLINE WHAT IS ULTRAVIOLET? Ultraviolet is the fifth type of wave in the EM Spectrum, before XRays and after Visible Light. It is best known for being 10% of the Sun’s output, and its commonly-known effect of giving people sunburns. But for all we know, that’s not all there is. Here’s more about ultraviolet: ULTRAVIOLET IS: A wave with wavelengths ranging from 10 to 400 nm 10% of the Sun’s total output A form of non-ionizing radiation Invisble THE TYPES OF ULTRAVIOLET UV-A has a range of up to 400 nm and has the longest wavelength in all of ultraviolet. It can penetrate the skin and cause wrinkles and aging. UV-B does not penetrate the skin, but it affects the exterior. It causes sunburn and damages skin DNA that may lead to skin cancer. UV-C is the most powerful type of ultraviolet. It has the shortest wavelength, resulting in a tremendous amount of energy. Fortunately, UV-C is blocked by the Ozone Layer, which is why it cannot reach us humans. THE BENEFITS OF ULTRAVIOLET Gives off Vitamin D Without it, there would be no ozone layer SCIENTIFIC USES, such as: o Forensics o Disinfection o Therapy THE DANGERS OF ULTRAVIOLET Sunburn Skin cancer Eye damage Affects marine life under the sea THE HISTORY OF UV Discovered in 1801 by German physicist Johann Wilhelm Ritter after discovering that just beyond the violet in the visible light spectrum, lies another wave that is more powerful. Ultraviolet was initially called “chemical rays” and is distinguished from “heat rays”, another type of wave discovered the previous year that is a bit weaker than red in the visible light spectrum. The terms “chemical rays” and “heat rays” were soon changed into what we now know as Ultraviolet and Infrared. Ultraviolet means “beyond violet”, as in beyond the color violet.