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The Wonderful World of Fluorescence

There is a whole big, wide, world of fluorescence out there in nature - from quinine, harvested from the bark of the South American cinchona tree, to jellyfish and fireflies seeking a mate.

Photograph of 'Aequorea victoria' by Sierra Blakely

But there is another world too - our utilitarian world - in which clever people have harnessed the power of fluorescence for the services of mankind. Here are some examples of them - using fluorescent tracer to track the movement of water or track leaks in pipelines, the now antiquated fluorescent tube lights we all once sat below, invisible inks in bank notes that show up under UV lights to prevent counterfeiting, and even critical to some forms of COVID-19 detection. 

Well how does it all work? And what is the science behind it? Luckily, we have the wonderful popular scientist, Andres Tretiakov, to explain. 

Click to obtain his 'illuminating' article, written especially for our Lipmann - Metal Science


Fluorescence in Industry
Download PDF • 472KB

Andres is one of those people who we all wish had taught us science; and, visiting schools to demonstrate chemical experiments, is one thing he does. Andres is a great communicator of the laws of chemistry via the excitement of visible reactions. He has worked on numerous programmes for the BBC as well as public events both at the Royal Institution, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Institute of Making. 

If you would like to commission Andres Tretiakov for your educational event, please see his bio and contact details below:


My name is Andres. I’ve been working as a science technician in schools for over 14 years. Apart from my daily duties (e.g. preparing and setting-up practical experiments), I also perform lecture demonstrations and workshops in school and outside the workplace. I have contributed, participated and volunteered in many public events held at the Royal Institution, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Making (UCL) to name a few. Sporadically, I work as a freelance scientific consultant for TV (BBCFour and Discovery channel) and popular science book writers. I mostly enjoy hands-on activities and my motto is eat, sleep and live chemistry!

Mobile: 07981778743

Twitter: @Andrestrujado

Instagram: @Andrestrujado

YouTube: Andycapo123


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