The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is it possible to alter the frequency on different forms of "lightspeed" waves?  (Read 1245 times)

Offline liolinv

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
I'm presently watching a scientifical tv program ("The world's best telescopes"), which began talking about VLT - "Very Large Telescope" (apparently the world's biggest optical instrument  ???) which is sometimes used to detect  :0  8 black holes  8 :0 .

The technique, used for detection, seems to have something to do with infra-red (<= but infra)light and it was said to be necessary to set up the telescope in a place with dry air, like a desert. The reason for that was that moist air filters infra-red light.

Anyway, that led me to wonder if it would be possible to view infra-red light waves with the naked eye, provided that one could increase their frequency.

Maybe the inventors of night binoculars already solved that problem, what do I know?

My other question

(sorry  :I ) belongs to the same context: is it possible to lower the speed on "lightspeed waves", except for running them through water (quite effectively though)?

I wonder what would happen, if one could slow down those "lightspeed waves" into being completely still and in harmony with themselves. Would that make time freeze too?

Maybe the wave would turn into a permanent particle or an object?

I have similar thought about temperature in conjunction with time, since I've read somewhere that movement and temperature go hand in hand.

For instance, water molecules move faster, boiling than being cold.
My suggestion was that, if you lower the temperature and movement (to the temperature on say the "planet" Pluto), then the molecules will slow down and maybe also time.

Right or wrong?
Oops, that was at least three questions.

Finally, I'd like to point out, that the term: "the speed of light" is misleading, since clearly not only light travels with that particular speed.

My suggestion to you bright people out there and in charge: change the name to something more appropriate and general..."asap".

Even terms like: "the speed of radio" or "the speed of microwaves" would be a bad idea.

Somebody here had better fix the "smiley problem" too. Obviously smileys aren't visible in the text. Why is that?


Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3942
  • Thanked: 227 times
    • View Profile
[Is it] possible to view infra-red light waves with the naked eye, provided that one could increase their frequency?
An experiment you can do at home:
  • Take a TV remote control: These use infra-red radiation just below the visible spectrum.
  • Take a digital camera, still or video: These mostly use silicon sensors, which are somewhat sensitive to infra-red radiation
  • Point the remote control into the lens, and press some buttons
  • Look at the LCD of the digital camera: You should see a flickering light at the end of the remote control

This is somewhat like night-vision goggles (or the related technology: night illumination), in that it has taken near-infra-red radiation, and transposed it into visible wavelengths

if one could slow down those "lightspeed waves"... Would that make time freeze too?

It is possible to significantly reduce the speed of light below its speed in a vacuum by putting it into various exotic materials; while in this material, the wavelength is also reduced. However, as soon as light returns to more familiar materials like  air, vacuum, or the water  inside your eyeball, it returns to the more familiar speeds and wavelengths.

The fact that the wavelength is (temporarily) shorter does not mean that infra-red wavelengths have moved up into the visible region.

Time does not stop or slow down while the light is traversing the exotic material, any more than it stops or slows down while light is (continually) traversing your eyeball.

if you lower the temperature and movement... then the molecules will slow down and maybe also time.
Reducing the temperature towards absolute zero does reduce the motion of atoms and molecules. This means that many events and reactions occur more slowly or less often than at room temperature. However, outside the supercold zone, everything proceeds at the normal rate, so time has not slowed down.
« Last Edit: 29/10/2012 01:54:34 by evan_au »

The Naked Scientists Forum


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums