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If you shine light on some molecules, you may see light of a different color emitted from that molecules. This is known as fluorescence. The molecules absorbs high energy light (blue, for example). This increases the energy of the molecules, represented as the top black line in the diagram (an 'excited' molecules). Some of the energy from the blue photon is lost internally (represented by the red squiggly arrow in the picture). The molecules then emits a photon with less energy, green in this example. Fluorescein is a common dye that acts in exactly this way, emitting green light when hit with blue excitation light. The color of light emitted is material dependent, and likewise the excitation light wavelength depends on the material. (There are other forms of inelastic scattering; fluorescence is particularly strong.)
What is fluorescence?
About Us at the NECF Workgroup

Our goal is to encourage collaboration among researchers from industry and academe in the New England area studying Soft Condensed Matter. We hold one day workshops four times a year which offer the opportunity for discussion and exchange of ideas. An additional objective of our meetings is to help the career development of students and post-docs by introducing them to the local academic and industrial research community.

The location of the workshop rotates among the member institutions. Our first meeting was in December 1999 and meetings have been held at Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, Clark University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, University of Connecticut, and the Universities of Massachusetts at Amherst and Boston. Workshops typically consist of four longer talks, each about 30 minutes long, but with 45 minutes allotted per speaker to allow for lots of discussion. In addition, everyone who attends is encouraged to give a five minute update (soundbite) of their current work. Equally important is ample time scheduled for coffee and lunch breaks for informal discussion.

The Fall meeting is held mid-September at Brandeis, and the Winter meeting mid-December at Harvard. The Spring and Summer meetings occur in March and July and rotate among the member institutions. To host a meeting contact the workshop organizers.



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