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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/905936
Rated: E · Book · Educational · #2105953
One hundred facts that are interesting but ultimately useless.
#905936 added March 3, 2017 at 4:06pm
Restrictions: None
The Photophone
The Photophone
- history / technology -

The photophone -- invented in 1880 by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter -- was the first operational wireless telephone. Predating radio transmitting by nearly twenty years, the photophone worked by linking a microphone to a focused beam of sunlight; when sound waves interacted with the microphone, the light beam would become interrupted and modulated. The modulated light could then be transmitted to a separate receiver containing a light-reactive selenium cell, which converted the beam back to sound waves.

In one experiment, Bell and his assistant transmitted clearly over a distance of nearly seven-hundred feet (over two-hundred meters).

With numerous technological limitations at the time -- including interference by weather and the requirement of direct line-of-sight -- the photophone was largely neglected in favor of radio telegraphs.

Despite the technology's shortcomings, the photophone is often cited as Bell's favorite invention -- so much so that it was nearly the namesake of his second daughter.


#062


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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/action/view/entry_id/905936