Saturday, 21 September 2013

Determine The Resolving Power Of Your Eye

     You can estimate the resolving power of your eye with a sample experiment. Make black stripes of equal width separated by white stripes: see figure here.

     All the black strip should be of equal width, while the width of the intermediate white strip should increase as you go from left to right. For example, let all black stripes have a width of 5 mm. Let the width of the first two white stripes be 0.5 mm each, the next two white stripes be 1 mm each, the next two 1.5 mm each, etc. Paste this pattern on a wall in a room or laboratory, at the height of your eye.

     Now watch the pattern preferably with one eye. By moving away or closer to the wall, find the position where you can just see some two black stripes as separate stripes. All the black stripes to the left of this stripe should merge into one another and would not be distinguishable. On the other hand, the black stripes to the right of this would be more and more clearly visible. Note the width 'd' of the white stripe which separates the two regions, and measure the distance 'D' of the wall from your eye.
Then d/D is the resolution of your eye.

     You have watched specks of dust floating in air in a sunbeam entering through your window. Find the distance (of a speck) which you can clearly see and distinguish from a neighbouring speck. Knowing the resolution of your eye and the distance of the speck, estimate the size of the speck of dust.

Microwave Oven

     The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation contains a part known as microwaves. These waves have frequency and energy smaller than visible light and wavelength larger than it.

How does it works?

     Our objective is to cook food or warm it up. All food items such as fruit, vegetables, meat, cereals, etc., contain water as a constituent. Now, what does it means when we say that a certain object has become warmer? When the temperature of a body raises, the energy of the random motion of atoms and molecules increases and the molecules travel or vibrate or rotate with higher energies. The frequency of rotation of water molecules is about 300 crore hertz, which is 3 gigahertz (GHz). If water receives microwaves of this frequency, its molecule absorb this radiation, which is equivalent to heating up water. These molecule share this energy with neighbouring food molecules, heating up the food.

     One should use porcelain vessels and not metal containers in a microwave oven because of the danger of getting a shock from accumulated electric charges. Metals may also melt from heating. The porcelain container remains unaffected and cool, because its large molecules vibrate and rotate with much smaller frequencies, and thus cannot absorb microwaves. Hence, they do not get heated up.

Basic principle?

Thus the basic principle of a microwave oven is to generate microwave radiation of appropriate frequency in the working space of the oven where we keep food. This way energy is not wasted in heating up the vessel. In the conventional heating method, the vessel on the burner gets heated first, and then the food inside gets heated because of transfer of energy from the vessel. In microwave oven, on the other hand, energy is directly delivered to water molecules which is shared by the entire food.