Light pipe: Internal reflections constrain most of the laser light within this acrylic rod, like how fiber optics work


Light pipeline: Internal reflections constrain most of the laser light within this acrylic rod, like how fiber optics work


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About the Author: livescience

19 Comments

  1. An interesting demonstration to do with something like this is to submerge it partially in water and see how the light escapes when the refractive index difference changes between acrylic/air and acrylic/water.

  2. See I get the whole internal reflection and how the light manages to travel across the distance of the tube with minimal loss. What my mind can’t understand how data is transferred via photons. Like how are we encoding data into light and then decoding it again.

  3. If the laser light is constrained inside the tube, why is the tube lit up with the laser light? Wouldn’t that mean that the material in the tube is not very transparent?

  4. Just been talking about this in my Physics Today course. My professor does research in nonlinear and ultrafast fiber optics. They use photonic crystal fibers to add in different materials like gas or liquid to see how it effects the light as it travels. Cool stuff

  5. might be a bit of a stupid question, but would it be possible to make a fiber that absorbs light that hits it and send it along the fiber? if so, would it be fesable for solar power applications?

  6. Is there a flexible pipping that works similar to this light pipe? Fiber optic isn’t nearly as visible along its span.

  7. Neon sign… I mean looks like one… Is this technology currently being used for displays and advertising related stuff?

  8. This kind of thing was (is?) used on the faceplates of servers to route the status lights from the server chassis to the front of the faceplates

  9. This is a really good gif. I learned about total internal reflection back in my secondary school physics days but I never got to see anything like this. I feel like I have a better understanding of it now.

  10. Man, I swear I could hear an electrical noise whenever that laser shone. I had to turn off my speakers and rewatch the gif in silence to convince myself it wasn’t actually making a sound.

  11. Light pipes are awesome–great for when you want to get light out of an enclosure while keeping any live electrical contacts (e.g. on LEDs) safely inside.

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