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People Emit Visible Light

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the lots-of-girls-I-know-glow-visibly dept.

Science 347

An Anonymous Reader writes "The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Japanese researchers have shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light, which is thought to be a byproduct of biochemical reactions involving free radicals."

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Duh? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798701)

Who didn't know this?

Biblical? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798709)

Halos? Hmmmm

Re:Biblical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798905)

No. Halos are a feature of some peoples aura, not a emission of visible light.

Re:Biblical? (0, Flamebait)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799265)

No. Halos are a feature of some peoples aura

Thanks for finally explaining that, Oh Great and Omniscient $diety. Had us all wondering for a while there.

Re:Biblical? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799291)

Barack Obama has a hallow and emits a lot of something, but it's not light...

Re:Biblical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798947)

"1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive"
Not really a halo...

Re:Biblical? (4, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799397)

I'm not sure halos are even part of Christian canon.

nothing special... (5, Interesting)

Draque (1367509) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798715)

This isn't any kind of new or unpredicted phenomenon. Everything that emits heat emits some light. The chances that the wavelength of a photon emitted by a human being (while giving off normal heat) will fall within the visible spectrum is very low, but given that we emit billions and billions of photons on a regular basis, it's sure to happen every now and then. Get sensitive enough cameras, and you'll see that glow from everything that isn't at absolute zero.

Re:nothing special... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798813)

Er. Your argument is that because something emits enough photons, then some are bound to be inside the visible spectrum?

That is not how light works. If you want a different wavelength, you need photons with different energy, and you need a different process.

Re:nothing special... (5, Informative)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798899)

No. His argument, correct but incompletely stated, is that any macroscopic object with a temperature emits a blackbody(-ish) spectrum which, since it spans the entire range of EM radiation, emits some light in the visible portion of the spectrum.

Re:nothing special... (2, Informative)

Draque (1367509) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798917)

You're right that they need different energies. If you graph the energies of photons emitted due to heat radiation, they'll form your typical bell curve, with the peak of the bell curve representing and energy level corresponding with infra-red radiation. That having been said... a few standard deviations from the center, you'll see the (very rare) photons emitted that have energy levels corrosponding with visible light. This happens when enough energy concentrates (by random, highly unlikely chance) to create a photon with much higher energy than is typical for a radiating body. It's very, very unlikely for ay given photon, but photons are created very, very often, so it happens frequently, though not enough to create intense enough light to see.

Re:nothing special... (4, Informative)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799231)

not a bell curve [wikipedia.org]

But it is a distribution, and the human body does radiate some visible photons. This phenomenon, however, is theorized not thermal radiation, but as something else.

Re:nothing special... (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799261)

they'll form your typical bell curve, with the peak of the bell curve representing and energy level corresponding with infra-red radiation... This happens when enough energy concentrates (by random, highly unlikely chance) to create a photon with much higher energy than is typical for a radiating body.

So what process creates the other half of the bell-curve, the photons at a lower energy than infra-red radiation?

Re:nothing special... (3, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799507)

So what process creates the other half of the bell-curve, the photons at a lower energy than infra-red radiation?

/me checks electromagnetic spectrum

Looks like extremely low-energy photons are radio.

Assuming it actually is a bell curve [slashdot.org] .

Re:nothing special... (1)

ckthorp (1255134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798923)

Photons only come in quantum energy levels when they are generated from a quantum process. Conversely, blackbody radiation is a probability distribution of energy levels.

Re:nothing special... (4, Informative)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799189)

Read about Planck's Law [wikipedia.org] . It predicts the distribution of photons by frequency dependent on temperature. The scale is from wavelength = 0 to wavelength = inf, but the distribution is an asymmetric peak that goes to shorter wavelengths as the temperature increases. The extremely large majority of photons emitted by an object at 293K will be in the infrared, but a few will be visible, ultraviolet, and x-ray.

Re:nothing special... (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799379)

X-rays, hmm, so being in crowded places does increase the exposure to harmful radiation. I always knew that one should avoid crowds and now it is confirmed. That also means that, given enough people, one can demonstrate an attack using photonic means.

[tinfoilhat_hat]Makes me wonder when an overzealous politician picks it up and limits demonstrations to few people to lower exposure to radiation.[/tinfoilhat_hat]

Re:nothing special... (3, Informative)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799453)

The chance of emission at higher energies decreases exponentially. You're getting far, far, far more exposure to ionizing radiation from the naturally radioactive potassium in others' bodies than by their black-body emission.

Re:nothing special... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799219)

Yes, for more energy you should eat Ready Brek every morning, because it will wrap you in a warm visible glow. Clearly we now have direct proof of Ready Brek's effectiveness in providing more energy to the body, and hence the photons that the body emits.

*hopes that Americans have Ready Brek and used to get the same TV adverts*

Re:nothing special... (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798865)

Just to be pedantic, you'd have to move it into a colder room or it won't be distinguishable from the background emissions of everything else. The only things that could possibly be distinguishable would be things that produce their own heat, whether electrically or chemically.

Your missing the point (3, Funny)

drukawski (1083675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798939)

The important thing here is we just discovered the solution to the energy crisis, all we need are MORE people.
Think about it; if 1 person emits light 1000 times too faint to see, that means 1000 people emit exactly enough light to see. All I need are 1000+ Chinese people willing to stand around in my hallway for a couple pennies a month and I don't need a nightlight to find my way to the pisser at 4am anymore!!!

Re:Your missing the point (2, Funny)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799313)

Wasn't there a film on using humans as a power source, I think it had 3 main parts and some short anime extra bits?

Re:Your missing the point (3, Informative)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799405)

You lie. That film had ONE main part. Any evidence of some kind of 'sequel' was planted by the machines to confuse your mind.

Re:nothing special... (2, Informative)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799001)

This isn't any kind of new or unpredicted phenomenon.

It is definitely unpredicted by conventional theory. The visible part of the black-body radiation spectrum (which you seem to be referring to) for an object at human-body temperature is far less than 1/1000th of what is still visible. These emissions are therefore not thermal. And the is no other conventional theory that mandates such emissions.

Re:nothing special... (1)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799021)

These results are specifically about the deviation of the spectrum produced by a human from a black body, and how that varies throughout the day. For a blackbody, the number of photons coming out as visible radiation is 1/10^3000 the total number (assuming a body temperature of ~280K, the number is so tiny because visible photons fall into the exponential Wein tail of the BB distribution), so you would naÃvely predict that no human has ever emitted a visible photon. Ever. So yes, it is something special.

Re:nothing special... (5, Informative)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799073)

See Planck's law [wikipedia.org] . The power density at a given wavelength is inversely proportional to an exponential function of the photon energy, for wavelengths short compared to the peak. For humans (37 celsius), the peak lies at about 9.3 microns. If this were thermal radiation from a blackbody spectrum, the exponent for the longest visible wavelengths would be about 66.3, corresponding to about 1.9 * 10^-20 W/m^2 of radiated power in the visible spectrum, assuming perfect emissivity. If a typical human has a surface area of 2 m^2, that's around one thermal photon every ten seconds in the visible spectrum. This is many more than 1,000 times too dim to see. The photons referred to in the article come from chemical reactions, not thermal radiation.

Re:nothing special... (2, Funny)

fmita (517041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799117)

Yes, but you're talking about a blackbody spectrum, whereas the article is implying that this is something else (photons released by chemical reactions, not by the thermal jiggle of charge). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biophotons [wikipedia.org]

Re:nothing special... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799149)

And I was hoping we were evolving laser beams on our heads.

Nothing special aside from what was in TFA (3, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799367)

The summary, most commenters, and largely the article itself seem to be missing the big point here

The researchers found the body glow rose and fell over the day, with its lowest point at 10 a.m. and its peak at 4 p.m., dropping gradually after that. These findings suggest there is light emission linked to our body clocks, most likely due to how our metabolic rhythms fluctuate over the course of the day...

Since this faint light is linked with the body's metabolism, this finding suggests cameras that can spot the weak emissions could help spot medical conditions

So yes, people glow, and yes, this was known previously. The point of the research is that this can be used, for studying circadian rythms and maybe identifying problems with it and metabolism. The scientist quoted is billed as a "circadian rhythm biologist," you've got to think he's probably not studying this to find out if people glow or not.

The information in the summary is thirdhand at best: whoever makes the summary makes it from an article, which in this case wasn't primary literature from the actual scientists but was AOL news or whoever "imaginova corp" is interviewing several japanese scientists about their work. AOL news seems to have misunderstood the research that they were writing about.

Establish in 2005 (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798721)

I thought this was discovered and establish in 2005 by Mitsuo Hiramatsu, a scientist at the Central Research Laboratory at Hamamatsu Photonics [quantumbalancing.com] . The only new information I recognize is that it varies by time of day, not that people emit visible light. Did this new study find anything else out additionally or just make pretty pictures that show it?

Re:Establish in 2005 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799475)

It was discovered in 1923 by a Russian scientist, Alexander Gurvitsh. It was re-discovered in the 70s by a German physicist named Fritz-Albert Popp. This stuff is really old, they discovered nothing new. Popp proposes that this emission is very different from typical black body radiation.

Michael Stipe was right! (5, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798731)

So, I guess we really are all "Shiny Happy People!" I suppose next we should begin holding hands.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

Krojack (575051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798761)

I'm not touching anyone.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799103)

Me neither. No telling what they might have been polishing with those hands.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799151)

If you're worried about touching other people, wear gloves.

If you're worried about other people touching you, wear a flu mask.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (3, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799273)

A flu mask is really only effective at stopping yourself from spreading germs when you're sick. It isn't really going to help keep you from getting sick from other people's germs.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799419)

Are you going to shake hands with a guy wearing a flu mask?

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799443)

No... you never know where his hands have been.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799047)

I'm not very shiny though...

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799163)

Naw, this only proves that we're shiny. There's still other kinds. Stipe just likes the happy ones. Other potential variants on the song include:

Shiny Angry People holding knives!

Shiny Horny People holding wangs!

Shiny Stupid People reading digg!

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799171)

Physics may force me to shine, but I refuse to be happy.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

Genrou (600910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799179)

And people never believed when I told them I was brilliant!

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799337)

Just as long as we don't have to deem all of humanity 'bright', shiny is fair enough.

Re:Michael Stipe was right! (2, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799557)

Yeah, well, you can just bite my (apparently) shiny non-metallic ass!

An "aura"? (2, Interesting)

Viper2026 (648272) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798737)

Whod've thunk it...

1,000 times too faint to see? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798739)

Shouldn't that be invisible light?

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798843)

Oh no, it's not invisible light. It's visible. You just can't see it.

Compare this to the light emitted by stars. It's hugely bright... but from millions of light-years away, it might be too faint to see with the naked eye. Does the star emit visible light? I'd say yes.

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799003)

You're trying to redefine the word visible. It's within the visible spectrum. Which means that while we have one ingredient to the recipe, we're still lacking enough quantity. This makes it invisible. Same goes with your star example.

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799227)

And you're playing a semantic trick where you take a word with multiple definitions, and change the definition you're using from the one that was clearly implied by the original context.

In the headline "People Emit Visible Light", "Visible" means "in the visible portion of the spectrum". "Visible Light", especially in a scientific context, usually means "light which is in the visible portion of the spectrum".

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799325)

In the headline "People Emit Visible Light", "Visible" means "in the visible portion of the spectrum".

I don't think that's obvious... well, other than the fact that they don't emit visible light by the definition I'd normally assume was meant. Since I can look around and see that they don't...

If I told you that a lightbulb emitted an "audible" sound, you'd assume I meant you could hear it. It wouldn't make sense to claim that if it was emitting sound at 120 hertz (an "audible" frequency) but at a volume far too low to be perceived by the human ear.

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799499)

I don't think that's obvious... well, other than the fact that they don't emit visible light by the definition I'd normally assume was meant. Since I can look around and see that they don't...

It's extremely obvious if you're aware of the meaning of "visible light" in a scientific context. Anytime you see the phrase "visible light" in the same sentence as "scientists say" or "researchers have shown", then it is nearly 100% certain that this is the intended meaning. The clincher would be if you consider the layman's definition of "visible", realize that this is clearly not true, then consider the scientific definition and realize it is the only one that makes sense. Of course this still depends on knowing the scientific definition.

And I'll admit I'm rather shocked that so many /.ers apparently don't know that meaning of the phrase "visible light". I know we have a more diverse background than we used to, but I still figured the average slashdotter was likely to have gotten a science degree where basic physics was a requirement, or at least have payed more attention than normal in high school physics or even just read the many science/astronomy related articles posted here, or read xkcd, or something.

It made more sense to me when I just assumed people were being pedantic dicks. :P

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (1)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799399)

And you're assuming that Slashdot headlines are viewed as Scientific forum (capitalization used to emphasize your bias). Slashdot is not a scientific forum, but a nerd-emphasised general forum. Thus the common or vernacular definition should always be used, and the editors should remember that headlines are summaries of the article and stand alone frequently without further explanation.

Not quite.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798853)

However, "barely visible to .0001% of humanity" seems to fit

Re:1,000 times too faint to see? (5, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798995)

Visible in this context doesn't mean perceptible, it's describing the wavelength, not the intensity. The light is very low intensity that has a wavelength within the visible spectrum.

New definition of visible. (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798775)

So the allegedly emitted light is 1000 fainter than what human eyes can see. Then why call it "visible", meaning viewable, seeable, ocularly pursuable (thanks Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities ... it has been a long time since I had the pleasure of ocularly pursuing you ... is Dickenesque for long time no see) ?

May be I can use this definition to claim my code is fully documented when the sole documentation is a line of comment that says, "Someday I should document this insane hack."

Re:New definition of visible. (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798815)

Its visible to kitties and puppies, of course. I think. Maybe.

Re:New definition of visible. (2, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798879)

From wikipedia [wikipedia.org] : "The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to (can be detected by) the human eye. Electromagnetic radiation in this range of wavelengths is called visible light or simply light."

Re:New definition of visible. (1)

gt6062b (1548011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798891)

Visible Light = Light which falls in the part of the spectrum that our eyes can see. They're talking about the wavelengths of the light.

Re:New definition of visible. (5, Informative)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798913)

The terms are a bit confusing, but the term "visible" light has nothing to do with magnitude, it only refers to light with a particular wavelength, roughly 380 to 750 nm, which our retinas happen to be sensitive to. The term visible is not meant to differentiate visible light from invisible light, but rather to differentiate these waves from radio waves, infrared, ultraviolet, X rays, microwaves, and gamma rays. So yes, even if the light cannot be seen, if it is in that particular spectrum, it is visible light.

Re:New definition of visible. (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799245)

Right on.. It would help if popular culture could just call it all EM Radiation [wikipedia.org] , and call "visible light" EM Radiation in the visible spectrum, but the term radiation scares people. Maybe as an acronym, EMR and EMR-V would be less frightening. Nonetheless, it would be more technically accurate, and remove the ambiguity of the term "light".

Re:New definition of visible. (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799309)

, it only refers to light with a particular wavelength, roughly 380 to 750 nm, which our retinas happen to be sensitive to.

Our eyes happen to be sensitive to. Our retinas are sensitive to UV, but the cornea filters out some UV light: as much as we normally see absent looking at the Sun, etc.

Re:New definition of visible. (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799051)

There are two factors when considering light. The number of photons and the wavelength of each photon. In this experiment the first one makes the light they are considering faint. The wavelength of those few photons is what makes them in the visible spectrum. Or another way to look at is ultraviolet light from the sun is fairly intense outside, but we don't see it because our eyes aren't designed to detect that wavelength. The neat part, that is probably most useful, is that it detects how the metabolism is doing. A rather in evasive test to see who is sick that could be set up in air ports or health facilities.

Re:New definition of visible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799255)

No it makes sense, visible as in visible spectrum.

We emit visible light (-1, Redundant)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798783)

That is not visible to our eyes?
Dude.. Wait...

What?

Re:We emit visible light (0)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798845)

The OP divided by zero.

Light, zombies, vampires, and global warming (0, Offtopic)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798801)

Does it mean if someone doesn't emit light is dead or 'un-dead' like Zombies or Vampires? Can I get a dead-dar that goes off if someone isn't emitting light?

Maybe we should find a way to create solar panels that are powered from human body light to fight global warming? :)

Re:Light, zombies, vampires, and global warming (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799463)

Can I get a dead-dar that goes off if someone isn't emitting light?

An infrared thermometer ought to do the trick.

Master Yoda called this... (5, Funny)

Casharelle (746564) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798821)

Master Yoda called this back in The Empire Strikes Back: "Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter!"

As I always suspected (5, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798841)

People are visible, but they aren't all that bright.

Re:As I always suspected (3, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799045)

I guess that's why Dad always said, "Rise and Shine!"

You're not afraid of the dark, are you ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28798857)

With the right prothetic eyes, not any more :)

Midi-Chlorian (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798895)

It's the Midi-Chlorian

duh

Biophotons (2, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798935)

Similar "biophoton" phenomena have been studied in the past at the International Institute of Biophysics [lifescientists.de] . It is most interesting as conventional theories do not predict such emissions.

Re:Biophotons (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799057)

It's just simple blackbody radiation. Anything with a temperature emits blackbody radiation, which is made up of photon that are mostly infrared. But the various photons have different frequencies, and some of those frequencies are in the visible spectrum.

Re:Biophotons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799169)

which are well-known crackpots....

Re:Biophotons (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799329)

"The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Japanese researchers have shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive.

Horseshit all around, or at least highly misleading. I have boldfaced the direct contradictions in the statement for emphasis.

Either it's glowing, which means visible to the naked eye, or it's not. If they had said that we emit light within the visible spectrum that would be different, but we do not emit visible light, period. If the human eye can't detect it, it is not visible.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798961)

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." - Yoda

1000 times too faint? (1)

kybur (1002682) | more than 5 years ago | (#28798991)

If studies have shown the human eye can perceive as few as 5 photons (some say even fewer is perceivable), what exactly to they mean by 1000 times fainter? Just spread out in time, I suppose.

Re:1000 times too faint? (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799563)

Saying that the human eye can perceive 5 photons is missing a bunch of units. The time portion is very important, as well as how spread out they are over the eye. In the pictures in the article, the light emitted from the face peaked out at around 3000 photons per second per square centimeter. If humans need 3,000,000 photons / s*cm^2 to perceive light, then you just need to focus the beam tightly over a short stretch of time - if you send those 5 photons in a single ms over .17 mm^2, you'll get approximately the requisite 3,000,000 photons/s*cm^2 to perceive them.

obligatory (0, Redundant)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799087)

You keep using that word "visible". I do not think it means what you think it mean.

Take THAT, Prissy Twilight Vampires! (2, Funny)

cacepi (100373) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799097)

You plonks just sparkle. We shine.

Oh, and to E.T.: I've got your ouch right here.

Mood rings! (5, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799107)

So, since this light is directly related to biological processes, that means in theory it should be tied to mood. For instance, clinical depression is tied to a general depression of all physiological processes. So, it would stand to reason that if you're down, you would emit less light. Someone who is euphoric should look (relatively) like a lightbulb in comparison. I know in the article it says that the amount and color of light varies, I wonder if this would lead towards a mood-ring style ability to read emotions. For instance, someone who is emitting a "pensive" light spectrum, along with other biological cues like sweat, and fidgiting may be a good suspect for scrutiny.

Re:Mood rings! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799403)

For instance, someone who is emitting a "pensive" light spectrum, along with other biological cues like sweat, and fidgiting may be a good suspect for scrutiny.

So you're saying we should judge people by the color of their skin?

"visible" (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799129)

I'm assuming they mean that the body emits an invisible (to the human eye) amount of light in the "visible" spectrum, i.e. within the wavelength ranges that we could detect if the quantity was sufficient.

Sounds like the spirit (0, Offtopic)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799165)

Sounds like this is confirmation of one's spirit, or chi (life force) in the eastern parlance.

Absolutely. (4, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799479)

How humbling, though, to realize that a four-watt nightlight harbors something like a billion times more chi than you do.

I have a Photomultiplier Tube (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799217)

Something in my kit of salvage electronics which I could never figure out what to use it for, to try and detect the presence of these "humans".

Now if only I can only safely generate the 1000-2000 volts to drive it.

Color? (1)

PagosaSam (884523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799259)

Gee, I wonder what color I am? I hope it's blue.

Yoda was right (0, Redundant)

KE1LR (206175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799299)

"Luminous beings we are, not this crude matter" -- Yoda

Bad Headline/Pedantic (0, Redundant)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799321)

Faint radiation in the visible spectrum does not equal humanly visible. Headline should read: People Emit Visible-spectrum Radiation.

So how many human light bulbs do I need . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799373)

. . . to replace that old 25W bulb? I've been experimenting with these newfangled florescent thingies, but the labels always seem to lie like rugs: 1W = 1000GW!

Maybe I need to know how *bright* the things actually are. Like, how many humans would I need to illuminate the Library of Congress? That would seem like appropriate Slashdot units.

Twilight? (1)

osoroco (626676) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799377)

with all the teenage girls already fantasizing about sparkling vampires, do we really need to feed their imaginations with this?

or is this a new era of teenage pickup lines: "I heard you like people who sparkle as a result of the sun hitting on their skins... baby, I emit my own light"

Do Women emit more light than men? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28799385)

I'm curious if the glow we see on women is in relation to this type of thing, and for that matter, if theres some relation to free radicals in the body (linked to women living longer than men on average) is there a way to increase these reactions and cut down on free radicals as a result, I for one wouldn't mind being glow in the dark if it meant I were going to live an extra 10+ years, I'm sure there would be advantages to cutting the number of them lower in women as well. Hell, for that matter if theres a way to make yourself glow in the dark without cracking open a glowstick and coating yourself in it (not very comfortable) it would be great for raves :)

Single Photons??? (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799441)

I once heard that the human eye can detect a single photon. I wonder how true that is. When I heard that, I thought that there must be some minimum threshold to trigger the optic nerves. Any thoughts about this?

Needed research (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799461)

Careful analysis tells me it is absolutely necessary for the survival of the human race to investigate photon emission from women. Since cloth would interfere with measurements, experiments will have to be clothing-free, and in a dark room. Volunteers are needed, apply now. Scientific requirements show a need for women between 18 and 40 with large busts. No pay, but refreshments will be served in sufficient quantities to achieve experimental results.

people emiting light (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799493)

crap, don't let skynet know

Not Just Visible Light! (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28799537)

I'm still applying for a grant to research this, but I'm told people also emit a scented gas! Part of my research will focus on this 'silent but deadly' scenario as it appears this scent is not always accompanied by sound.
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