Monthly Archives: May 2003
Posted on May1,2003 by Chris ChiaverinaAs we enter the 21st century, perhaps no area of science touches our lives and the lives of our students more directly than optics. We speak on the telephone without realizing that our voices have been converted into digitally-encoded flashes of light that travel over miles of thin optical fibers. Information, whether it be music, images or text, stored digitally on CDs and DVDs is recorded and retrieved optically. At concerts and sporting events, giant screens consisting of thousands of light emitting diodes provide ultra-bright, high-resolution images of figures too small to be seen on the stage or field. State of the art infrared cameras send eerie nighttime images of battles thousands of miles away to our living rooms almost instantaneously. Our understanding of outer space as well as much of the micro-world has been gained through optical exploration.