On Monday, a team of scientists in Australia announced an exciting breakthrough: For the first time, researchers were able to turn light into sound on a microchip. But — as crazy-sounding new physics applications tend to be — it's probably going to be a long time before you see one of these chips on a computer you can buy. More importantly, what the heck does "turn light into sound" even mean?
Tagged With light
It turns out the recognisable half-circle arch of a rainbow is a complete lie. When you're standing on the ground looking up at a rainbow in the sky, the curvature of the Earth usually blocks its bottom half. But when viewed from a higher vantage point, like from a plane, or the top of a crane, rainbows are magically revealed to be a complete circle.
The mass production of light bulbs was quite the engineering quandary back in the early 1900s, considering even the most "skilled glassblowers" maxed out at two a minute. Surely the process could be automated, somehow? It took some creative thinking by the folks at Corning Glass, but the end result was this marvel — a "glass ribbon" device that, at its best, could pump out almost 100,000 bulbs an hour.
Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have brought quantum computing a step closer to reality by stopping light in a new experiment.
Lead researcher Jesse Everett said controlling the movement of light was critical to developing future quantum computers, which could solve problems too complex for today's most advanced computers.
Video: It's obvious to anyone with eyeballs that there ain't no damn stars in the city, while there are about a gazillion and one out in the countryside. But what do the various gradations of light pollution actually look like? Sriram Murali pointed his camera to the night sky to show you the progression of light pollution and when it starts screwing us from seeing stars.
Video: Water can do some trippy things, man. If you take a glass of water and slide it in front of a pattern, the refraction of light in water basically screws with those patterns and makes it appear as something else entirely. The distortion is really crazy to see because black and white squares turn into alternating white and black rectangles, and diagonal lines can become crazy squigglies.
Video: I don't know what 1000 suns actually looks like in real life, but I would imagine it's probably something like lighting up this 20,000 watt light bulb to full, world-scorching power. It's that eyeball-burning and -blindingly bright. Photonicinduction tested this 20kW Halogen light bulb that's used for large scale film sets indoors — where it can flood out an entire room in white light — and outdoors — where it can pretty much turn night into day. I'm not even joking.
Video: I don't know how these tiny dancers got trapped inside this spinning zoetrope but it's the only explanation I can come up with for this incredible light animation. Their movements are so smooth, and the shining light captures the grace of their dance so well that I'm sure some sort of magic has to be at play here.
Video: There's no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but there are some colourful visuals that you can trip out on if you can figure out how to stare the right way. Here's a video that supposedly shows a camera gliding through the spectrum of a rainbow and making its way through ROYGBIV backwards.
Video: New York is one of my favourite places in the world because of so many things. However in certain moments it can be a miserable place to live, as you wonder if it's worth it to be packed on top of people and if the city is all a big scam. That's why it's nice to be reminded about how special the city can be. Jonathan J. Scott made this short film showing the light hitting New York City just right and it's gorgeous.