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Measuring the invisible

Workshop on UV radiation at PTB


Das nicht Sichtbare messen

The ordinary Central and North European feels the effect directly on his skin in summer or during skiing holidays: Skin which has so far been pale now reddens. Responsible for this is that part of the sun's radiation, which the eye cannot see: the ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation has been the subject of discussions especially during the past two decades. As man is to be held responsible for the protective ozone layer above his head getting "full of holes", ever more UV radiation penetrates through the atmosphere, and the risk of skin cancer is increasing.

However, not only these aspects of UV radiation are the subject of an international workshop held at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig (November 9 to 11, 1998). About 90 participants from science and industry from 14 countries come together to exchange information and know-how in the field of UV radiation. It is above all the question of how this radiation can be precisely measured that is in the center of interest, for measurement of UV radiation has not nearly reached the quality and reliability achieved in visible light measurements. And it is just such a standard of UV measurement for which many sides ask, the medical side in the same way as industry and science. After all, UV radiation is not only a product of the sun but is rather used in many technological processes: The semiconductor industry, for example, uses this radiation in chip manufacture, and the chemical industry makes use of it to accelerate desired chemical reactions. And last but not least, the manufacturers of sun benches have a "natural" interest in this radiation.

It is an essential aim of this workshop to form these diverse aspects of UV radiation into an informative package and to make them apparent to all participants. The workshop is part of a "network of topics" sponsored by the European Union, which was initiated this year and will have a duration of three years.

Additional information can be obtained from:
Prof. Dr. J. Metzdorf, PTB
tel. +49 531/592-4100
e-mail: Juergen.Metzdorf(at)ptb.de