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Wave Nature of Light of DVDs

  1. May 7, 2005 #1
    In what other examples is the wave nature of light important in society and technology?

    One example is in DVD drive where different wavelengths can read different layers of the DVD.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2005 #2
    Well, you certainly don't have to look as far as multi-layered DVDs!

    How about color? Or reflection from objects so that we can see them? Refraction in telescopes and microscopes so that we can see things that are very far away or very small?

    The list goes on and on.

    The short answer (although not really the one you're looking for) is that the universe would be so totally and unimaginably different if light didn't have a wave nature that nothing would be here to know whether it did or didn't!
  4. May 7, 2005 #3
    Well, I don't want to look specifically at colour or optics. I'm not sure how to explain it but I want to examine the benefits there is to society/technology of the wave nature of light, not so much optics...not sure if that makes sense.
  5. May 7, 2005 #4
    Microwave ovens, cell phones, wireless networking, electric motors, radios, probably any solid state electronics....
  6. May 7, 2005 #5
    I'm not sure those examples are the wave nature of light.... maybe you could expand on one so I understand?
  7. May 7, 2005 #6
    Meaning that you're referring specifically to visible light only (or within that range, including infrared and ultraviolet)?

    Night vision goggles, lasers (a gajillion uses there, in practically every field) and fiber optics come immediately to mind.

    "Wave nature" seems to be the catch - if you mean something that exploits the wave nature (phasing etc.,), then polarized lenses and lasers are prime examples, I think.
    Last edited: May 7, 2005
  8. May 7, 2005 #7

    Who could really know what you are looking for at this point? You say you don't want to consider optics, but optics are required to make the dvd burner work. Sony has a new dvd burner that uses a laser in the range of 405nm which is right on the border of visible....should we not consider this as an example because of the wavelength?

    By light I took it to meen electro magnetic radiation. Just as there are sounds we can't hear there is light we can not see. Sorry if my answer is of no use.
  9. May 10, 2005 #8

    Spectroscopy is the study of light as a function of wavelength that has been emitted, reflected or scattered from a solid, liquid, or gas.

    Absorption bands, the absorption and scattering processes of electromagnetic radiation and visible light —part of the electromagnetic spectrum (the entire range of wavelengths or frequencies of electromagnetic radiation extending from gamma rays to the longest radio waves)— is used by spectroscopy to determine the compositon of far away stars or interstelar gases.

    It is also used as a method for determining the chemical composition of a material's surface, for example, by bombardment with an electron beam to produce Auger electrons whose energy spectra are characteristic of their parent atoms —called also Auger spectroscopy.

    Imaging Spectroscopy. Researchers at the USGS Spectroscopy Lab are studying and applying methods for identifying and mapping materials through spectroscopic remote sensing (called imaging spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, imaging spectrometry, ultraspectral imaging, etc), on the earth and throughout the solar system using laboratory, field, airborne and spacecraft spectrometers.
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