Other Known Aliases – Ultraviolet (UV)-A lamp, blacklight
Definition – Handheld UV light that emits UV-A (long-wave) light with a violet filter, which blocks most of the visible light, and only allows the UV-A through
Clinical Significance – There are many medical applications for using UV light for quick, bedside diagnosis. One of these is for fungal infections of the skin, most commonly Tinea infections. Tinea infections will fluoresce under UV-A light.
History – Named after Robert W. Wood (1868-1955), who was an American physicist, inventor, and a pioneer in infrared and ultraviolet photography. In 1903, he developed a filter that would block visible light, but be transparent to both infrared and ultraviolet light. He won several awards and honors in the field of optics (he even has a crater on the moon named after him) and is the namesake of the R.W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America, which recognizes outstanding discovery, achievement, or invention.
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