Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Please see the following photos. (I cannot post them...)

From the first photo, the book mentioned Don't cover the paper with glass because glass absorbs enough ultraviolet light to slow the damage process. (line 8)

My questions:

  • Why can glass absorb ultraviolet light?

  • Will papers with dark colours fade fastest? Why is that the case? (see the second last paragraph)

share|cite|improve this question
I understand that the question lacks some detail, but I don't understand why someone downvoted this. – AdamRedwine Aug 21 '12 at 16:15
I would say that this question does not show any research effort, these questions are answered by a quick google search. – user2963 Aug 21 '12 at 16:39
And don't you want a "quick google search" to bring up his question and the answers? – Velox Mar 1 '13 at 15:18

Glass absorbs light where there is something in the glass that can resonate at the frequency/energy of that light.

It depends on exactly how UV you mean, at very short wavelength UV you can interact directly with the outer electrons, but at more typical 200-350nm you are mostly being absorbed by the inter atomic bonds in the glass. Unfortunately a lot of this is influenced by trace heavy metals and impurities so it's difficult to predict (and control)

There is a Schott datasheet explaining this

Q2: Darker colours fade faster because they have more dye and the change is more visible - it's hard to see when white paper has faded!
Dyes work by absorbing certain colours of light, so a red dye will absorb blue and green light to only allow red to reach your eye. When it absorbs the green and blue photons their energy must go somewhere mostly to heat, that's why dark cars or clothes get hotter on a sunny day. But some of the photon's energy will break the chemical bonds in the dye and so gradually reduces it's effectiveness = fading.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.