Photoluminescence is the emission of light from a material under optical excitation. Absorption of visible or UV radiation raises molecule to an excited state. Electron absorbs quantum of energy and jumps to a higher energy orbital. When electron drops back to the ground state, excitation energy can be liberated by... What is Fluorescence? Fluorescence is a luminescence, i.e. optical phenomenon in cold bodies, in which a molecule absorbs a high-energy photon, and re-emits it as a lower-energy (longer-wavelength) photon. The energy difference between the absorbed and emitted photons ends up as molecular vibrations (heat). Usually the absorbed photon is in the ultraviolet, and the emitted light (luminescence) is in the visible range, but this depends on the absorbance curve and Stokes shift of the particular fluorophore. Fluorescence is named after the mineral flurite (calcium fluoride), which exhibits this phenomenon.