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Transcript
3erLUGAR,CATEGORÍAMAYORINGLÉS
XVIICertamenNacionaldeEnsayoCientífico,2015
TheEvolutionofLightTechnologies
RonaldVilchezMartínez,ColegioCientíficodelAtlántico
Whatislight?Thisisthequestionphilosophersandthinkershaveasked
themselvessincealongtimeago.Oursearchfortheunderstandingofthisterm
startsbackintheancientGreecewherelightandvisionwerethoughttobethesame
anditwasnotsomethingthatexistedapartfromseeing.Thisthoughtmadeus
considerthequestionofwhathappensto,inthiscase,lightwhenwearenot
looking.Asthetimekeptgoing,theperspectiveoflightasaphysicalentitywas
gettingstrongerandourearlyinvestigatorsoflight,beingnotsatisfiedwithwhat
lightwasthoughttobeatthattime,startedtodevelopsomeinteresting
explanationsforwhateventodayisamysteriousphenomenon.
SirIsaacNewton,knownmostlyforhisworkinmathematicsandmechanics,
wasoneofthefirstearlyinvestigatorsoflightwhothoughtaboutitinasimilarway
towhatwecalltodaytheraymodel.Hethoughtthatlightwasmadeupofvery
smallandfastparticlestravelinginstraightlines.EventhoughNewton´smodelwas
oneofthefirstonesgenerallyacceptedbythescientificcommunity,itdidnottake
longuntilsomeonefoundawaytoopposetoit,wearetalkingaboutRobertHooke,
knownbythelawwithhisname,andtheDutchscientistChristiaanHuygens,who
thoughtlightwassomekindofwave.Thisoppositionwasoneofthefirsttimesthat
Newton´smodelwasbeingchallengedanditwasthebirthofoursecondgenerally
acceptedmodeloflight,thewavemodel.
Thewavelikebehavioroflightwasdemonstratedtobearealityafterthe
experimentoftheEnglishscientistThomasYoungwhosaidhehadbeenableto
createinterferencebetweentwowavesoflight,beinginterference,adistinctive
wave-likephenomenon.Engineersandscientistshavemadegooduseofboth
modelsoflight,theraymodelbeingusedtofabricatecameras,microscopesand
telescopeswiththehelpoflensesandmirrorsandthewavemodelasavaluabletool
toexplainwhathappenstolightatamicroscopiclevel.Alsobeingthemissingpiece
toopenanewareaofstudies,quantumphysics.
Itwasrequiredatheoryoflight,thephotonmodeloflight.Thisnewmodelis
reliantonquantumphysicsanditsolvestheproblemoflightbeingawaveora
particledilemmaconsideringitasneitherofthembutinsteadasphotonsthathave
bothwave-likeandparticle-likeproperties.Thisisstillanewfieldforphysiciststo
studyandthemostofitsapplicationsarestillunknown.
Inconclusion,thehistoryoflighthasbeencontinuouslychangingthroughthe
yearsandthereisstillsomuchtofindoutaboutwhatlightreallyisbutifwekeepon
mindthelightofhope,wewillabletosucceedinthisjourneystartedcenturiesago.