Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Beat Frequencies & Light

  1. Mar 11, 2008 #1
    I know how beat frequencies work with sound. I know they exist in RF so how do they affect light?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The difficulty is that they need a medium to mix in.
    Light doesn't interact with light in air or vacuum (at sensible power levels)

    A radio uses beat frequencies to mix the received signal with a carrier in a diode, I can't think of a similair substance for light.
  4. Mar 11, 2008 #3

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I think it can be done optically using a master oscillator, as a way to stabilize a resonant cavity. Not sure about the equipment- a photodiode of some sort, most likely.
  5. Mar 11, 2008 #4

    Claude Bile

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You can generate difference (beat) frequencies by mixing optical signals in a second-order nonlinear medium.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook