Monday, May 24, 2004


The Recreation of the Crystal Ball, Part I  

Well, I've decided that this blog is going forward. WAY forward. SInce I now write my technology news and commentary for the Lockergnome Tech News Watch and newsletters, I've decided to use this blog as a place to exercise my personal crystal ball. I'll post things that I wonder about, things I suspect, and things that seem obvious to me about the future.

Here is item one-

Researchers Invent 'Super' Laser Beam

Source: United Press International

WEST BETHLEHEM, Pa. (United Press International via COMTEX) -- U.S. physicists have developed a laser beam that is about 1 million times brighter than conventional lasers.

Physicists at Lehigh University said the laser produces a rainbow of visible and invisible colors by focusing the beam in a specially designed optical fiber that confines light in a glass core with a diameter 40 times smaller than a human hair.

The tiny solid glass core is surrounded by a cladding, or casing, that contains air holes along the length of the fiber. Visible lightwaves emerge from the fiber as white light, which contains all the colors of the spectrum. The colors are dispersed by the precisely spaced grooves of a diffraction grating, in the same way that water droplets create a rainbow.

Potential uses for the super laser range from medical applications -- including non-invasive imaging of live tissues -- to all-optical networks, in which light waves, not electronics, perform switching, routing, amplifying and other functions. the physicists said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

So, what have I to say about this?

Well, an obvious comment would be that we could now use the surface of the moon as the world's largest outdoor movie screen. Or I could say that it may become the world's largest billboard.

But what caught my eye was the comment about the way that water creates a rainbow through diffraction. We all know that it was an error- water creates a rainbow with refraction, not DIFfraction.

I started thinking about creating specifically -colored beams with vibrating water. And that led to wondering if this effect- water vibrating and thus being excited into the sembalance of a diffraction grating- could be applied to a liquid crystal? How liquid ARE liquid crystals? I have no idea, but it seemed like an interesting thought that I could throw out into the universe.

After all, we all know that sound can cause patterns of ripples called 'standing waves' in water... This has been applied to modern string theory to explain the existence of matter in the universe. Such an effect in liquid crystals could certainly be used to create an amazingly compact and effective moving color picture. Varying putches of sound waves could easily be used to change the color of the projected laser beam. It is, after all, the same as colorless water creating a rainbow.

So, universe, I expect you to give me credit for understanding a little piece of you, if this turns out to be more than a mental hiccup!

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?