Appliance Science: The Illuminating Physics of LED Lights

In my Appliance Science column for CNet, I look into the fascinating physics of LED lights. It’s all about electrons, quantum physics, energy levels and water flowing downhill.

AS2-LED-P1-smlAnd, like a waterfall, interesting things happen at this point where the flow is controlled. Whereas a waterfall makes noise, electrons flowing across the pn-junction of an LED release light. As the electrons flow from the n to the p layer, the energy level of the electrons falls, dropping from the higher energy level of the p-type layer to the lower one of the n-type. This energy is released as a photon, which we see as light.


Richard Baguley has been writing about technology for over 20 years. He has written for publications such as Wired, Macworld, USA Today, Amiga Format and many others.

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