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Conversion of Light energy to Sound energy

  1. Apr 2, 2014 #1
    Is there a way to convert light energy to a sound energy?
    I read an article and the URL is http://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=52646
    It is described that nano material lenses are used.
    Is there a much simpler way that I convert light to sound?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It really depends on what you mean. Light and sound are fundamentally different things, but you can, for example, use light to transmit encoded sound information, such as in an optical audio cable.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Apr 2, 2014 #3


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    There is a way which used to be very popular: movie audiences experienced it every time they viewed a film in a theater:

  5. Apr 2, 2014 #4


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    One simple way to convert light energy to sound energy:

    Buy a greeting card that makes some sound when you open it. Remove the battery, and replace it with a Photovoltaic cell. Place the system in the sunlight.
  6. Apr 3, 2014 #5


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    When a crystal absorbs light some of the energy is converted to phonons - quantized sound. This happens all the time, but you cannot hear it. I did a lot of this during my dissertation research.

    This was first done as a controlled experiment in 1958:
  7. Apr 3, 2014 #6


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    A simple way? Coat something with a thin metal film and hit the metal with an intense laser pulse. It will heat quickly, creating a strain pulse in the sample, which is sound.

    See, e.g. Nature Photonics 6, 30–34 (2012), "Laser mode feeding by shaking quantum dots in a planar microcavity" (http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v6/n1/abs/nphoton.2011.269.html)
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