Lesson 3 PRODUCING VISIBLE LIGHT Producing Visible Light The most important natural source of light on Earth is the Sun. There are, however, other natural sources of light, such as light from other stars, fire, and lightning. Light is also
produced by other methods Bioluminescence The ability of a plant or animal to produce light is called bioluminescence 90 percent of all sea creatures are bioluminescent Some fish produce their own light, while others have bacteria that carry
out the light-producing chemical reaction for them. Bioluminescence Light can be used to attract prey, provide camouflage, and keep schools together. On land various animals use light to attract mates. Example: Firefly Some Fungi and bacteria can also
produce light Bioluminescence Examples Bioluminescence Examples Sources of Light Light produced by the Sun or other stars is called natural light. Light produced through human
technology is called artificial light. Incandescent Light Produced by an object, such as a metal, that is at a very high temperature. Inside an incandescent light bulb is a filament
Electric current flows through the filament, heating it to an extremely high Incandescent Light The filament emits light as a way to release some of its energy. The light you see from an incandescent bulb is
the filament glowing. Incandescent bulbs are extremely inefficient. Only 5 percent of the electrical energy used in an incandescent light bulb is converted to light. The rest of the energy is released as Fluorescent Light
Light emitted by substances when they are exposed to electromagnetic radiation. A fluorescent light bulb is a glass tube filled with a small amount of a gas such as mercury vapour. The inside of the bulb is coated with a white powder called a phosphor. Fluorescent Light
A substance that glows after being exposed to energized particles. As electric current passes through a fluorescent bulb, it energizes the atoms in the gas, which then emit ultraviolet radiation. The ultraviolet radiation strikes the phosphor on the inside of the bulb, which then glows and emits light Compact fluorescent light bulbs are
20% efficient. The rest of the energy used is heat Phosphorescent Light In fluorescent lights, the phosphor emits light only while it is exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Some substances have the ability to store energy from radiation.
Phosphorescent Light Phosphorescence is the ability to store the energy from a source of light and then emit it slowly over a long period. Phosphorescent materials glow in the dark for some time after being energized by light
Chemiluminescence Light produced from a chemical reaction without a rise in temperature. All forms of bioluminescence are special kinds of chemiluminescence. Example: Glow sticks Chemiluminescence Chemiluminescence is also used in
analyzing crime scenes. Investigators use a chemical called luminol to detect traces of blood because the chemical glows when it reacts with the iron found in blood Triboluminescence Producing light from friction Some crystals can be made to glow
simply by rubbing them together or crushing them. Electric Discharge The process of producing light by passing an electric current through a gas Example: Neon lights, Lightning, Carbon arcs, HIDs
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) The process of transforming electrical energy directly into light energy is called electroluminescence. A light-emitting diode (LED) is an electroluminescent light source made out of a material called a
semiconductor. Light-Emitting Diode (LED) LEDs do not have a filament. Instead, they are solid materials. This makes them very rugged, because they do not contain any delicate parts LEDs are very efficient producers
of light and radiate very little heat. LEDs are used in many places, such as in electronic billboards, traffic lights, decorative lights, and handheld displays OLEDs An organic light-emitting display
(OLED) is a light source made of several extremely thin layers of organic molecules that use an electric current to produce light. An OLED is made of thousands of individual organic light-emitting diodes that use different organic molecules to emit different colours of light.
OLEDs OLEDs use less energy than some other displays because they do not require a backlight to function. They are thinner, lighter, brighter, and more flexible In fact, they are so flexible that OLEDs can be rolled up or embedded in fabrics or clothing. OLED technology has potential application in small screens such as cellphones, medical equipment, and headmounted displays, and in large screens,
such as television and computer screens. OLEDs OLEDs are more expensive to produce than some other displays and are easily damaged by water, but these disadvantages are diminishing as their design continues to be refined
Plasma Displays Each colour is a tiny fluorescent light in which an electrical signal causes a gas, such as neon, to release ultraviolet radiation. The ultraviolet radiation is absorbed by phosphors that then radiate light in the visible spectrum. Different phosphors are used to produce red, green, and blue light. By varying the
brightness of each primary colour, Plasma Displays Plasmas produce brighter images than an LCD display but requires much more electrical power to operate Liquid Crystal Displays A white light, such as a
fluorescent light or lightemitting diode, shines behind a liquid crystal. A liquid crystal is a solid that can change the orientation of its molecules like a liquid, but only when electricity is applied. The crystal can block light or transmit light depending on how much
Liquid Crystal Displays Red, green, and blue filters are placed in front of the crystal to produce these colours. A special filter called a polarizing filter blocks the red, blue, or green colours in any combination to produce any colour of light.
Liquid Crystal Displays Since liquid crystal displays work by blocking light, the white light that shines behind the crystals is always on. For this reason, the black in LCDs does not appear completely black, but only dark grey. Laptop computers, digital watches, cellphones, iPods, and many flat-panel television sets use this
Questions Hand in 1. What do all incandescent materials have in common to cause them to emit light? K (1)
2. How is the ultraviolet radiation produced in a fluorescent light transformed into visible light? I (1) 3. What is phosphorescence? I (1) 4. What term is used to describe light produced by friction? K (1) 5. What happens in each tiny fluorescent light in a plasma display? I (1) 6. What is a liquid crystal? I (1)
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