Physical Science : Light And The Electromagnetic Spectrum (silent)

The 1980s film is a vibrant mix of technology, science, and pop culture, showcasing how various forms of light and waves are integral to daily life and advanced scientific endeavors. It begins with someone inserting a U-matic tape into a player and watching people dance on a TV screen, emblematic of the era’s entertainment technology. The scene shifts to a person making popcorn in a microwave, juxtaposing everyday activities with a graphic depicting types of visible and invisible light, suggesting a thematic focus on the spectrum of light.

The film frequently returns to this theme, showing graphics of light waves alongside scenes of people dancing on TV, and a person adjusting a dial and observing a moving needle, possibly representing the manipulation and measurement of these waves. The inclusion of an AM/FM radio, a young woman watching TV, views of a telescope, and images of solar flares and Earth from space further illustrates the wide-ranging applications of light and wave technology.

Advancements in astronomy and medical technology are highlighted through scenes of Mars rotating, views of stars, a man preparing a patient for an MRI, and an MRI image of a skull. The film also touches on aviation and weather forecasting, showing a plane on a runway with radar imagery and a person in a cockpit with a radar screen.

Towards the end, the film combines the theme of light with space exploration, depicting astronauts walking in space and a laser beam shining through a hole. This is interwoven with more scenes of people dancing on TV monitors and a man at controls, maintaining the film’s focus on the interplay between light, technology, and popular culture in the 1980s.

We digitized and uploaded this film from the A/V Geeks 16mm Archive. Email us at if you have questions about the footage and are interested in using it in your project.

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