Laser Music Demonstration

Grades 9–12. Teach students how information is embedded in waves with modulation to encode an audio signal in a laser beam using a transformer. The activity effectively illustrates the roles that the components play in encoding and decoding information (modulation/demodulation) and transforming energy from one form to another acting as transducers to play music (e.g., MP3 player, smartphone). Students delve into electronic components as they observe electromagnetic induction as a transformer amplifies an audio signal, which is then transmitted across the room via a laser pointer, converted by a photovoltaic cell into electricity, and finally converted back into an audio signal through a dynamic speaker acting as a transducer.

Description

Grades 9–12. Teach students how information is embedded in waves with modulation to encode an audio signal in a laser beam using a transformer. The activity effectively illustrates the roles that the components play in encoding and decoding information (modulation/demodulation) and transforming energy from one form to another acting as transducers to play music (e.g., MP3 player, smartphone). Students delve into electronic components as they observe electromagnetic induction as a transformer amplifies an audio signal, which is then transmitted across the room via a laser pointer, converted by a photovoltaic cell into electricity, and finally converted back into an audio signal through a dynamic speaker acting as a transducer.

Time Requirement: 20 minutes demonstration and up to 15 minutes preparation
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Structure and Function
Information Technologies and Instrumentation

The teacher’s manual provides questions to help students understand each component’s function and the underlying principles at each stage of the circuit. This kit is designed to integrate into a larger unit of lessons addressing wave mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism.

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