Luminous paint

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A paint that contains phosphorescence pigments that glow in the dark. The phosphorescent pigments, such as barium, zinc, or calcium sulfides emit visible light when irradiated with ultraviolet light. This effect, however, is temporary. Thus, in the mid-20th century, traces of radioactive materials, such as Radium, Tritium, or strontium 90, were sometimes added to create self-luminous paints. These radioactive paints, used on watch, clock and instrument faces, were discontinued by the 1980's, replaced either by electroluminescent or liquid crystal displays.

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998