How long does it take for light to travel from the Earth to the moon?
It only takes 1.255 seconds!
Visible light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that the human eye can perceive. Different animals use visible light as well, and some animals can even see spectrums of light that the human eye we’re blind to.
Engineers across the globe are constantly researching new ways to harness the power of light to create new types of technology. How does optic technology impact your everyday life? Read on to find out!
What Is Optic Technology
Did you know that optics is a branch of physics? Specifically, optics is a branch of physics responsible for studying electromagnetic radiation. To put it simply, optics is all about studying light.
How does infrared radiation interact with matter? Why is it possible for us to see things? These are the type of questions optic studies help us answer.
The world of optics technology is thriving, with sites like pfgoptics.com, offering optical solutions to businesses and military personnel. You also rely on optics every day, from your sight to the technology you use. As the field of optic technology continues to evolve, humankind is learning new ways to harness the special properties of light.
A Look Back Through Time
Our ability to understand the way light behaves in the universe is continuing to grow. It’s incredible to take a look back at history and see how far we’ve come in just a couple of centuries. For instance, it was in 1590 that the first compound microscope was developed.
Before the microscope was invented, strands of hair were the tiniest thing humans could see. When microscopes came into existence, we suddenly became able to observe and measure all sorts of objects that are much smaller than hair.
What does light have to do with microscopes? Keep in mind that without visible light we wouldn’t be able to see the samples underneath the microscopes.
Fast forward to the mid-1800s when optic technology \made it possible for photographs to have color. Using a blend of green, red, and blue filters, what used to be black and white was now alive with color.
As we move forward another century to the mid-1900 optic technology begins to evolve into the field of fiber optics. Fiber optics is a technology that involves transmitting light through a material.
The material can be plastic. However, it’s more common for glass to be used in fiber optics.
We rely on fiber optics every day to accomplish things like communications, medical procedures, and interior lighting. We even rely on fiber-optic technology for our daily internet use.
Optical Clocks and Lenses
Moving forward to the early 2000s the idea of an optical clock came to be. Unlike traditional atomic clocks, optical clocks are a lot more accurate. Next, in the early 2000s, another revolutionary idea came to be. Optic researchers in Canada were able to describe what an adjustable lens would look like, and how it would function.
Being able to realistically imagine a light adjustable lens opened up a new world of UV light filtering possibilities. As you dive deeper into the world of precision plano optics, you’ll discover just how important spherical lenses can be.
Using Lasers to Communicate
Now that you know a little bit about the history of optics, let’s dive into a few more of the ways that you use the technologies in your everyday life.
For example, did you know that a computer mouse is a type of optical device? Using optical technology your computer mouse relies on lasers for efficiency.
A mouse uses light-emitting diode photodiodes to figure out what direction it’s moving across the surface. Then, your computer can use this information to appropriately move the mouse cursor in the direction you want it to go.
You probably noticed that your optical mouse works best on an opaque surface. The reason for this is that and glass don’t play well with a mouse that uses lasers for navigation.
However, as technology advances new versions of the computer mouse may be able to operate on any type of surface.
Next, you also use optical technology to store information. For example, Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs are all byproducts of optical technology.
It’s light that makes it possible for storage devices like CDs to exist in the first place. How? Using a special laser, the light is capable of reading and writing information onto discs.
Next, some computers are also equipped with different kinds of optical technology instead of relying on an electric current. These computers can use infrared beams or visible photons. The advantage of optical computers is that they can operate at much higher speeds.
When you think about it, electricity flows much more slowly than light. By harnessing the speed of light to complete computational tasks, future PCs will be faster than we ever thought possible. Lastly, smartphones, cameras, binoculars, and even flashlights rely on optics.
Optics in Medicine
Doctors have come to rely on optical technologies to assess things like oxygen in your blood and skin tissue. While there are currently some limitations holding clinical practices back, the future of healthcare right.
For example, optics is making it possible for patients to enjoy less invasive procedures. These types of advancements in healthcare help make the world a safer place for patients and medical staff. Instead of relying on invasive procedures, doctors can rely on non-invasive optical technologies to get the information they need.
Currently, lighting takes up a lot of the electricity we use in our daily lives. However, advancements in optical technologies are now making way for more efficient light bulbs known as LEDs.
LEDs are light-emitting diodes and they’re much more efficient at providing lighting than standard incandescent light bulbs. It’s exciting to think of all the money you could save, simply by switching your house over from your old way of lighting to LEDs.
Looking Towards the Future
There you have it! Now you have a good understanding of what optic technology is all about. It’s exciting to see how far the world of optics has come throughout the last couple of centuries.
After reading this article, what type of new technologies do you think we’ll see in the future? Take a moment today to imagine all of the exciting ways technology can continue to evolve.
Before you know it, the things you’re imagining will begin to exist in reality! For more fun facts, read another guide.