Blinking Eyes Send a Morse Code Message

Description:  Jeremiah Denton was a naval aviator who was captured and became a POW for eight years in Viet Nam. In 1966 he was forced to take part in a propaganda video. During the filming he pretended to be bothered by the lights but was in fact blinking out the word torture in Morse code. This confirmed for the first time that captured servicemen were indeed being tortured. Mr. Denton went on to serve as a U.S. Senator from the state of Alabama. This secret message could be used as a starting point for a unit on waves and information. Students could create and send messages of their own, hopefully under much more enjoyable conditions.

Web Resources:  Blinking Eyes Send a Morse Code Message - Awesome Stories, Jeremiah Denton - Wikipedia


The Visual Microphone: Passive Recovery Of Sound From Video

Description:  In this amazing demonstration researchers are able to extract audio from the video of an object (a plant, an empty bag, etc.) in the same room as the sound. The sound waves vibrate the object which is made visible through tiny movements processed with a graphic algorithm. This could be used as a phenomenon in a unit on sounds, waves, and information.

Web Resource:  Extracting audio from visual information - MIT News


Daniel Kish Uses Echolocation To Navigate

Description:  Daniel Kish lost his eyes to cancer before he was 13 months old. He uses echolocation by listening to the reflection of sound waves to navigate in 3D space. He can even ride a bicycle. In addition to being an incredible story of perseverance this is a perfect phenomenon for a unit on waves. Sound waves are reflected, absorbed, and transmitted through objects in the environment and Daniel can sense the changes in energy of the returning waves.

Web Resource: Daniel Kish - Wikipedia


Analog vs. Digital Television

Description:  In this video an analog and a digital television signal are compared. Many students today are not familiar with analog television and the problem of static. Analog television uses changes in the amplitude, frequency or phase of the radio waves to transmit information. Problems of this technology include susceptibility to interference (or static), color consistency, and a smaller image. Digital sends the information as a series of 0's and 1's that are converted into the pixels on the screen. It is difficult to find an analog television signals in the US but the radio is a great substitute.

Web Resource:  Analog vs. Digital Television - Lifewire


The Arecibo Message

Description:  The Arecibo message was an interstellar radio message containing information about life on our planet.  The message contained 1679 (semiprime) bits of information that could be organized into the graphic seen below.  The message contained information on our planetary system, genetic information, human dimensions, and the Arecibo telescope.

Web Resources:  Arecibo Message - Wikipedia

By Arne Nordmann (norro) (Own drawing, 2005) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5 ], via Wikimedia Commons