Archive for January, 2013

The Optical Link

Sound and light. Light and sound. Both forms of energy, both transferred in waves. They have amplitudes, frequencies, and polarities. It’s almost curious how vastly different they are, and how vastly differently we experience them.

Most people would say that light and sound are perceived at similar levels of importance. But here too, the difference is huge: We can direct our sense of sight in a particular direction, and can spot lights of 1 lumen (about the strength of a candle) from kilometers away. We can catch sound regardless of its position, and even pin-point the location of the source after the event itself, precisely measuring the subtle difference caused by the shape of our ears, telling us if we should start looking in front or behind us.