noun, plural: biophotons
A low-energy photon that is released by a biological system
A photon is the quantum unit of light energy or electromagnetic radiation. It is emitted when an electron moves from one energy state to another. When it is emitted by a biological source, it is referred to as a biophoton. An example of this is the photon released through fluorescence. The light that is absorbed by an organism is released immediately. The biophoton has longer wavelength when re-emitted than that of what was absorbed. It occurs when the organism has a prior exposure to light and eventually absorbs it then releases it.
Another example of a biological system emitting biophotons is phosphorescence. In phosphorescence, the organism releases biophoton but not immediately unlike in fluorescence. Similarly though, the organism has a prior exposure to light, absorbs it, and emits it later on. Thus, phosphorescence is different from fluorescence in a way that there is a delayed emission of light by a biological system.
Photons released through bioluminescence, though, are not considered biophotons. Bioluminescence is one in which the organism produces light through biochemical means.
Word origin: bio (life) + photon
- electromagnetic radiation