Scientists managed to turn light into sound using their latest invention - a brand new laser technology. A team of researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory developed a technology able to increase and improve underwater acoustic applications.
The technology allows compressing laser pulses. It is worth mentioning that different colors of a laser pass through air and water at different speeds. However, in the water the concentration effects prove to be stronger. It is possible for a well-tuned laser to pass several hundreds of meters through the air and then rapidly compress after entering the water, which would help a jet to send messages underwater, reports LiveScience.
If the colors of a laser are arranged in a particular way, the laser pulse would compress in time while passing through the water, which focuses the light. To be able to transform light into sound, researchers compress a laser pulse so it would ionize a small quantity of water. After giving charge to the molecules of water, the ionized water soaks up the laser energy and then heats up. Finally scientists witness a small explosion of steam that produces a pulse of sound having 220 decibels.
It is worth mentioning that this latest invention could be used to improve the use of underwater acoustics for both Naval and commercial purposes such as undersea communications, navigation and acoustic imaging. link....