Playing With UV LEDs

Philip Miller Tate Philmt59 at
Fri Jun 6 10:14:24 CDT 2008

Nice one, Joe. There is a tendency to forget that many uranium  
compounds fluoresce, and that this phenomenon is completely unrelated  
to its radioactivity.

I have a uranium glass water jug that belonged to my grandmother,  
who, on hot summer days used to serve us kids iced Ribena from it. I  
have since discovered that there is no evidence at all that anything  
harmful whatsoever leaches from the glass.

My University is one of the very few remaining in the UK that still  
employs a full-time glassblower. He was impressed that I recognized  
his small stock of uranium-doped glass rod for what it was. He is  
heading towards retirement and has promised me some samples when he  
leaves, as it is fairly certain that he will not be replaced, despite  
the money he undoubtedly saves us in repairs and specialist glassware  
- and selling his services to neighbouring institutions.

Joe and I have been bemoaning the lack of Geiger counters at  
Hamvention these days!


Phil M1GWZ

On 6 Jun 2008, at 05:52, Joseph Bento wrote:

> Hey all,
> Been having some fun with some UV LEDs bought at Dayton.
> I've had a collection of uranium glass marbles for ages, and have
> never had a black light to see their brilliant green glow as they
> fluoresce under UV light.  I modified a 14 LED torch with UV LEDs.
> Now I just need to be aware of the precautions of UV, which
> surprisingly apply to the LEDs.
> Take a look at this quick little gallery.  You can see a bunch of 1
> inch "shooter" marbles under normal light and under the UV torch.
> There is also a photo of about 50 small marbles in a jar with a
> humorous "RADIOACTIVE" sticker.
> See: and click on "UV TORCH"
> Now I just need to pick up a geiger counter.  The radiation from these
> marbles is low enough to be harmless, though apparently they will
> register on a counter.
> Fun Stuff!!
> 73,
> Joe, N6DGY
> Pleasant Grove, UT
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