Duality Nature Project: Light Wave Dynamics of Vision

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Light Wave Dynamics of Vision

"Let there be Light!"

Have you ever wondered how it is you are able to see? Our eye's only seem to work when there is light available. Without light, we are virtually blind to seeing. If you deduced the reason by now, it's because light is what enables us to see in the first place.
In order to understand how we see, we need to understand what light is. Most simply, light is energy, which means it has a wave nature.

  •         Light's wave nature

    The Aurora Borealis illustrates the wave quality of light as it streams across the night sky. But, did you know that light is actually composed of extremely small packet's of energy called quanta?
    • Photon's
    It's ok if you don't remember much of this, as I couldn't expect you to considering the complexity, but Quanta were first discovered and described by Max Planck, a famous physicist who, by discovering 4 equations on light, kick started modern physics, paving the way for Einstein, Quantum Mechanics, et al.

    Planck presented his discoveries at the turn of the century so it's been a little over 100 years since those first steps in modern physics. Likewise, understanding Planck's constant is very useful in beginning physics as well. Otherwise, the Quanta light is composed of is the smallest unit of energy. As a result, it is small. Extremely small. I can't really stress that enough ha-ha, but basically the photon is the basic unit of energy to be absorbed and emitted as light by all things including photosynthesis in plants or sight in humans.
    • Vision
    What actually happens, believe it or not, is as the photons enter your eye they are scattered as they enter and travel through the nerve pathways. We need to remember here that energy is equivalent to information; that is, you cannot have information without first having energy, like the electricity being the information processing in a computer, the electricity of light is likewise entering nerves in your eyes which conduct the information.

    To process light information, you have what's called photoreceptor cells. Photo is similar to photon, which is an alternate name for quanta (i.e. a light particle).

    Additionally, you have two types of photoreceptor cells in your eye. Maybe you have heard of them, they are called rods and cones.

    Our best measurements of the human eye indicate that each one has about 126 million rod cells and 6 million cone cells so the light can be broken down into over 130 million different parts or pixels. The same thing happens on computers. Images are built out of pixels which are tiny packet's of information. Typically the more pixels you have, the better image quality you also have. Although that quality is nowhere near what the human eye is capable of, Information Technology grows tremendously every year and it shouldn't be too very much longer don't you think? Otherwise, you can also use the example of televisions, as if you have ever had one you've most certainly seen what's called "snow". Snow, if you know what I'm talking about, is another word for bad reception. When it happens, all you see on the television screen is little gray and white dots that are constantly appearing and disappearing. The dots are pixels, or the bits of information that make up an image.

    So now you know why or should I say how the human mind is more powerful than computers at least, but we still haven't gotten too the dual nature. Congratulations if you made it this far, but let's continue...
    • Light Nature

    Light has a wave-particle duality. This is a physics term. It just means that light behaves as both a wave and a particle depending on how you look at it. Wave-Particle duality is extremely important and fundamental in physics though. As a result it is a core idea in most fields of study, being the primary reason Quantum Mechanics was devised for example.

    Quantum Mechanics was needed after Einstein to explain Wave-Particle Duality. Basically, Einsteins and others physics contributions like Relativity theory led to a heck of a lot of breakthroughs in science and technology. As a result, the physicist had better and newer tools or technology to work with because they just invented them with all their new theories. This may sound a bit crazy but it's quite true and happens quite often. Physics is actually very profitable. For example, many know this already but the internet was created by and for CERN by workers there including an engineer and physicist who were working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC was just recently completed last year (2009), becoming fully operational. It is expected and already producing many breakthroughs in physics and science, will lead to a lot of technology growth and innovation, and probably could/will pull the world out of financial downturn, &, with the job market it will most probably be stimulating starting this year. (Be Excited-It's the future)

    In the fall of last year, for example, the LHC was sending protons, which are the primary or main components of atoms, hurling at the speed of light into one another. The collisions produced beautiful light displays, and the data collected on the computers will be taking a while to decipher, but a lot of new, and interesting results were definitely achieved.

    The reason scientists accelerated protons to the speed of light is because in addition to being the smallest thing in the universe (quanta), light is also the fastest.

    If that isn't enough, light is also has a relationship with time. According to relativity theory, the faster one travels and approaches the speed of light, the more time external to oneself speeds up. This is duality too. Since you could also say that it is the time of yourself that slows down. In a sense, you time travel. By changing speed, we can change time. The only problem with this is that we can't go that fast yet.

    The speed of light is really really fast. Like the quanta being extremely small, too I can't describe enough too you how incredibly fast light is. To give an example, light can travel about 4 times around the earth in about 1 second; That's equal to about 186,000 MPH or 300,000 KM. How exactly light is able to travel so fast is still a mystery, but appears to have to do with the properties of light itself.

    In many ways the shape of objects determines how they travel. A spear for example will throw much farther than a heavy book, even though they may weigh about the same. The same is thought of light, only light comes in my different flavors or types. There are literally an infinite number of frequencies or wave types that can represent light. Since each type of wave is different than any other, they each have different characteristics and behaviors. Some may travel faster or slower than others for example; or some wavelengths are seen as a red color, others may be green.

    I always wondered how abundant light is in the universe. Possibly, could it really be the most abundant thing?


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