[Blueboard] Ateneo Physics News
Quirino Jr. M. Sugon
qsugon at ateneo.edu
Sun Dec 7 18:18:46 PHT 2014
Associate Professor Dr. Raphael Guerrero of the Department of Physics of
Ateneo de Manila University and his student Sarah Oliva wrote a paper
entitled, “Optical wavelength tuning via actuation of fluidic grating
which was published last January 23, 2014 in SPIE’s Optical Engineering
A grating is normally a polished metal with grooves similar to what happens
when you grate a cheese with a fork, except that your cheese is a polished
metal and your fork is much smaller than the width of your hair. A good
example of a grating is a CD (compact disc): the concentric grooves are
finely spaced, so that when light strikes the CD, light beams of particular
color (frequency) have a preferential option for reflecting in one
direction and those of different colors are reflected in another
direction. The result is a rainbow pattern.
But instead of a metal grating, Dr. Guerrero and Sarah used Sylgard 184
an elastomer or elastic polymer, in order to form a replica of a standard
metal grating through a cast and mold process. The elastomer grating bends
like rubber but looks transparent like glass. The authors constructed a
hollow cavity with a grating membrane and filled it with water using a
syringe. As the water enters the cavity, the elastomer grating expands,
thereby increasing the grating’s groove spacing. Once this happens, the
various colors present in white light are transmitted through the grating
differently compared to the unexpanded situation. This mechanism allows us
to scan different color frequencies for a fixed light receiver, in the same
way we turn the knob of an analog radio in order to tune to the correct AM
or FM frequencies of our favorite radio stations.
Below is an interview with Dr. Raphael Guerrero by the Ateneo Physics News.
Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Ateneo de Manila University
Program Manager, Upper Atmosphere Dynamics, Manila Observatory
Phone: 63-2-4266001 local 4850
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