Archive for light

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Lightbulbs Are Becoming Obsolete

Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) can be used to create light emitting surfaces instead of lights that emit from a single point like bulbs. This makes the light more diffuse and more power efficient. Current OLED surfaces are made in panels or sheets, but eventually could be included in many surfaces in household items, like […]

Print Your Own Invisibility Cloak

Duke University researchers are using 3D printers to produce working microwave cloaking materials. They suggest it’s not a difficult step to move toward printing with polymers or glass that might cloak visible light. Do-It-Yourself Invisibility with 3-D Printing – [] Seven years ago, Duke University engineers demonstrated the first working invisibility cloak in complex laboratory […]

1953 – MASER

In 1953, Townes, Gordon and Zeiger built the first MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). It worked by stimulating ammonia to produce a coherent beam of microwave radiation. A few years later, the same principle was extended to create the first LASER which emitted coherent light. PRECURSOR: 1917 – quantum radiation theory (Einstein) […]

1922 – Brillouin scattering

Leon Brillouin predicted that light could be scattered when traveling through a medium that interacts with sound waves. Sound waves (and some other types of waves) can compress a fluid medium, creating a density wave which changes the index of refraction, which in turn changes the way light moves through the medium, causing the scattering. […]

1905 – photoelectric effect

Maxwell‘s equations showed that light, electricity and magnetism all had similar wave characteristics and suggested that light was a variation of the electro-magnetic wave form. If this was true, light and other electro-magnetic waves impacting metal would cause a flow of electric current in the metal. At the time, scientists were using electrified glass tubes […]

Magnetic Solar Power

An optical battery that collects charge caused by light’s magnetic field may be usable as a power source. Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible – [] Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the magnetic field were so weak that […]

Artificial Photosynthesis

There is evidence to indicate that the earliest process of conventing sunlight into storable and usable energy (photosynthesis) began around 3.4 billion years ago on this planet. Over time, the bacteria that accomplished this changed the color range of light they absorbed from infrared into the visible spectrum and changed the waste output of their […]

Naked Clothes

At MIT, a research team is developing fabric woven from light detecting fibers that are capable of capturing images. Instead of using a single lens to collect light and create an image, the web of fibers provides a distributed imaging capability across the surface of the fabric. A collection of many small data points can […]

Ultra Light Absorber

Researchers at the Huygens Laboratory in Leiden University in the Netherlands have demonstrated that at a very thin level of thickness, NbN (niobiumnitride) can absorb nearly 100% of light. The ideal substance for photovoltaic solar energy conversion is something that absorbs almost all radiation and is thin enough to collect electrical energy efficiently. Most recent […]

Solar Sails

Solar sails were first proposed by Kepler almost four hundred years ago. The idea of a solar sail is use a large expanse of a thin, light film to “catch” the pressure of photons in light and use that pressure to accelerate a space craft in a desired direction. Progress at NASA: A Brief History […]