What is a UV Detector?

The detector contains UV beads inside of a clear cylindrical tube accompanied by a UV- radiation level scale. The two ultraviolet (UV) light sensitive beads are coated with a photo-chromatic dye that reacts to UV light and cause the normally white beads to change into a vibrant blue color when exposed to sunlight, UV emitting black light, or other UV sources. The electromagnetic radiation needed to affect change is between 360 and 300 nm in wavelength. Each bead will change color about 50,000 times before the dye will no longer respond to UV light.

UV-Detector Using the UV Detector
The sun gives off ultraviolet light. Excessive levels of UV light can cause sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer. This UV detecting device can be used to qualitatively measure the intensity of the sun’s UV radiation as well as artificial UV light sources.

Simply place the detector directly in the sunlight the beads will change color corresponding to the intensity of the UV radiation. The color scale on the tube enables the user to determine the level of radiation.
What are some uses?

Test the Effectiveness of Sunglasses
Test the effectiveness of sunglasses by placing them in the sunlight and covering the detector with the lenses. If the beads remain white, then the sunglasses are blocking harmful ultraviolet rays.

Test the effectiveness of Sunscreen.
Spread a layer of a commercial sunscreen on the detector tube, place it in direct sunlight and observe if the beads change color or remain white. Try this experiment with a number of sun blocks and sunscreens with different SPF ratings.

Other investigations that could be conducted using the UV-Detector include testing the effectiveness of UV absorbing window film, transparent colored filters, windshields of most automobiles, TV screens and computer monitors. These are only a few of activities that can be conducted using the UV-Detector however; a much more extensive program has been developed as an interactive CD-ROM.

The UV-Detector comes complete with easy to follow instructions, an explanation of how the detector works and a series of suggested activities for its use. A smaller version of the UV-Detector is also available in an economical pack of five.

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