Physics 2000 Einstein's Legacy Laptop Screens

Color Variation in Laptop Screens

Well...if you take the molecules and tilt them so that the light sees them head-on, they don't change the polarization at all. What if you could tilt them just part of the way, so that the light wouldn't see them completely head-on, but wouldn't see their full length either?

Very good! The computer can do just that by varying the strength of the electric field: the stronger the field, the greater the tilt. The applet below shows polarized light passing through the layers of molecules; try adjusting the field strength and see what happens.

I get it! Changing the field strength adjusts the brightness of each cell, which allows the pixel to have any color you like.

Precisely--and just as in a TV screen, those colored pixels combine to produce a clear and detailed picture.

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