Early attempts to produce artificial light often proved to be dangerous. Coal mining in the Industrial Revolution spurred the need for safe light in the mines. Sir Humphry Davy's lamp was the precursor to the modern safety light.
Sir Humphry Davy's lamp of the early 1800s was abandoned in favor of a lamp powered with electricity. Computer graphics illustrate how electricity first powered light, and how it powered the arc light.
Edison's Menlo Park Science Laboratory was the gathering place for scientists. Edison combined the work of many other inventors to redesign Davy's electric light. Edison's invention first lit city streets, a phenomenon called the Great White Way.
The modern incandescent light bulb is on its way out as an inefficient light source. A German invention led to the energy-efficient light--fluorescent light.
LEDs were invented in 1962. In 2005, LEDs rose to a new level quantum dots. Learn the roles of quantum dots and laser light as well as Einstein's theory of light in the modern history of light.
The first laser light was demonstrated in 1960. The day is not far away when laser technology will be used in the human brain for neurological disorders.
Light: Quirky Science
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Dispite popular belief, Edison did not invent the lightbulb—many people contributed to the invention. Mind you, the first lamp was invented around 70,000 BC. This program examines Edison's actual contribution of improving the lightbulb to become a practical, affordable, and safe product. Modern-day lighting innovations are quite startling, as many of them we can’t even see with the naked eye. Consider lasers. Nobody knew what to make of this idea that atoms could “release their excess energy as light.” When the laser was invented, people joked that the laser was “a solution looking for a problem.” And the future holds even more discoveries, such as laser-light therapy that is conducted by flashing the human brain. Part of the series Quirky Science. (26 minutes)
Length: 26 minutes
Copyright date: ©2011
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