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What would you present about light if you have 90-sec time?

  1. May 9, 2015 #1
    As you know, this year, 2015, is the year of light: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Year_of_Light

    I want to create a video clip limited to 90 seconds to show in our university's TED-like show to make students excited about light.

    Do you have any idea? any experiment?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2015 #2


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    I think an interesting one is to show total internal reflection in a prism, then bring another prism into contact with the reflecting surface and show that the light now goes straight through. And what happens, and how, when a very small gap is used between the prisms?
  4. May 15, 2015 #3


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    I think another cool thing to show is the obvious light as a particle and a wave, and maybe light travelling through the universe or something! :-p
  5. May 15, 2015 #4
    If you have a few large polarization filters:
  6. May 15, 2015 #5


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    As opposed to "light as a particle or a wave" I would emphasize that modern physics states clearly that light is not either one. The Classical Physics view of "wave particle duality" has been dead for about 90 years.

    Light is a quantum object and if you get different points of results about it depending on how your measurement is set up. If you measure for a particle then you see the particle like characteristics and if you measure for a wave then you get wave-like characteristics, but in terms of classical particles and waves, light is neither one.

    What you can emphasize is that this was a very big deal back in 1927 when Dirac (and others) figured it out.
  7. May 16, 2015 #6


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    Given that the IYL is: a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind.
    I'd focus on the achievements of optical and other light-based technologies and emphasize our dependence on it. You could show a few of the critical technologies, like lasers and fiber optics, a few of the mundane things, like light-bulbs and plane mirrors, and talk about how critical light is to our understanding of the universe. Not only does it allow us to do things like communicate and transfer information, but the vast majority of our knowledge of the universe comes from optical and near-optical instruments. (Insert picture of Hubble Space Telescope)
  8. May 18, 2015 #7

    James Pelezo

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