light beam circuit

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

Here we describe a simple process to `put a voice on a sunbeam` and transmit it over a distance. It is a fascinating example of amplitude modulation of light using sound vibrations. We then describe how the modulated light is detected and demodulated in a receiver so that we can hear the sound. A wide range of physics and engineering experience ca

light beam circuit
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n be learnt through these exciting `sunbeam` experiments. These activities are inexpensive and can be made in a school laboratory or at home. The interconnected computers forming the Information Super Highway (the Internet) depend on the ability to encode and decode information (e. g. a voice, picture or program) on the communication network. This network might be thousands of miles of wires, fibre optics, under sea cables or use satellites. Although this `information` may appear in an identical from on the distant computer there must be a large amount of encoding / decoding along the way, to make it all happen reliably. The process of encoding information for transmission is called modulation and the subsequent information retrieval is called demodulation. On a computer system a `black box` does this job at either end of the network and is called a Modem (short for Modulator / Demodulator). With other types of information communication, for example in radio broadcasts, the modulation of the programme is done at the transmitter and the demodulation performed within the radio receiver. In the following article however, we look at a more simple system which uses a most basic modulation / demodulation process called amplitude modulation. We will learn about this process in an exciting and entertaining way. Bright sunlight (a sunbeam) will be modulated to carry voice information. Then, after sending it over a distance, we will...

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