Emission of visible light by a substance, such as a mineral, that is exposed to ultraviolet light and absorbs radiation from it. The light appears in the form of glowing, distinctive colors. The emission continues after the exposure to ultraviolet light ends.
Some diamonds and other gemstones and minerals continue to glow or emit visible light for a period of time after exposure to visible, ultra-violet or other light, after the light source has been removed.
Phosphorescence is a specific type of photoluminescence related to fluorescence. Unlike fluorescence, a phosphorescent material does not immediately re-emit the radiation it absorbs. The slower time scales of the re-emission are associated with "forbidden" energy state transitions in quantum mechanics.