Weird idea day - Journal of Omnifarious
Mar. 28th, 2006
11:51 am - Weird idea day
Today seems to be a day for weird ideas for me.
New rule! New rule!
From now on, my programs that print debug messages stating that they've received a message when they receive a message from somewhere will say "For the love of God, why won't the voices leave me alone?!". That is all.
Lasers work by getting a whole bunch of electrons bound to atoms in a higher energy state than they are normally in. This state can be triggered to collapse and release a photon when the electron encounters a photon of the exact frequency that it would release. This results in two photons that are travelling in the exact same direction who's wave functions exactly coincide.
This eventually cascades to all the electrons in the substance, causing them to collapse back to their lower energy state and release the energy as a photon who's wave function is in sync with all the others.
The process is often helped by having mirrors at either end of the cavity containing the substance that are a multiple of the photons wavelength apart from each other. This sets up a standing wave. The mirror at one end either has a small hole, or is only half silvered, letting the photons out.
I was in a smallish room once that had echoey walls and a very obvious resonant frequency. This means that by humming at just the right note you could set up a standing wave for sound.
The challenge would be to somehow get energy into the air of the room or the walls of the room that would only be released by sound of the appropriate frequency and would result in the sound being amplified. You could create 'sound lasers' this way. A small hum at the right frequency would suddenly cause an explosion of focused coherent sound to be released.
But, I can't think of a good way to store the energy.