How to control light with water | Summary and Q&A

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December 22, 2016
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Physics Girl
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How to control light with water

TL;DR

By shining a laser through water, the video demonstrates the concept of total internal reflection, which is crucial in fiber optics for transmitting information.

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Key Insights

  • 🙂 Total internal reflection is a phenomenon that occurs when light reflects off a medium instead of escaping, and it plays a crucial role in fiber optics.
  • 🙂 Fiber optics allows for the confinement and guidance of light, enabling efficient communication over long distances.
  • 💁 Transmitting data over the internet involves splitting the information into packets, which can take different routes but still reach the destination efficiently.

Transcript

Hello, Physics friends. I'm Diana. Physics experiment at home. You do it. I do it. Let's do it. I have a two-liter bottle that we drilled a circular hole in. Took a little while to get it right. And a green laser pointer. I'm going to shine the laser beam through one side of the bottle and align it so it's going out the hole on the other side. And... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What happens to light when it is shone through water?

When light passes through water, it follows the stream and does not travel straight due to total internal reflection. The light gets trapped inside the water, acting like a mirror and not allowing much light to escape.

Q: How does the critical angle affect the path of light in water?

The critical angle is the angle at which all light reflects off a medium like water. Light shone at steeper angles can escape, while at more glancing angles, all light stays in, resulting in total internal reflection.

Q: Why is controlling the direction of light important in communication?

By confining and guiding light, like through fiber optics, it is possible to transmit information over long distances more efficiently and quickly. Unlike other means of communication, light travels at high speeds and is not subject to delays or interference.

Q: How does the speed of transmitting information via the internet compare to traditional mail?

Transmitting information over the internet, using fiber optic networks, is much faster than traditional mail. It can take only a few seconds to upload and transmit data, compared to several days for a mailed postcard to be delivered.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video showcases an experiment where a laser beam is shone through water, demonstrating how the light follows the water's stream and no longer travels straight.

  • It explains the concept of critical angle, where light reflects off a medium instead of escaping, leading to phenomena like total internal reflection.

  • The video highlights the importance of controlling the direction of light in communication, which is made possible by fiber optics.

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