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Fluorescence is the phenomenon whereby molecules that have absorbed near ultra-violet and visible light emit light at a longer wavelength (usually in the visible spectrum).

In experimental practice, this is of very good use for imaging: you can shine light that causes fluorescence in the molecule you want to image. Then, if your image capturing device only works for a certain wavelength range (in this case, the range of the emitted light from fluorescence), then your imaging device will not "see" the original light that was shining on the sample.


[1] B.H. Brandsden, and C.J. Joachain, "Physics of Atoms and Molecules," Second Edition, Pearson Education Limited (2003).