The low-temperature emission
as by a chemical
process by a substance other than as a result of incandescence
Meaning they emit and transmit photons, the basic particle of light. In a broader sense luminescent describes all minerals capable of giving off light when put under certain conditions. Three minerals that exhibit these characteristics are fluorescence
, and thermoluminescence
Some studies are revealing an ability to use photons and light produced by luminescence as a key to the development of photonic computers and there is a related field of the phenomenon of bioluminescence, the production light by biological organisms. The firefly is probably the most well known example.
In industry this glow-in-the-dark technology is used from everything to light cockpits of aircraft, digital watches, to the revealing of fingerprints or blood products at crime scenes.