Beat Frequencies & Light

  1. I know how beat frequencies work with sound. I know they exist in RF so how do they affect light?
  2. jcsd
  3. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,809
    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. Andy Resnick

    Andy Resnick 6,144
    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. Claude Bile

    Claude Bile 1,479
    Science Advisor

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

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