Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The LEDs

Imagine a pixelated black board. It is wired and connected to power. The pixels are actually LEDs. And they are spaced well to be seen as discrete units from the point of observation. Something like looking at the arrival/departure mechanical info screen at airport terminals.

The central LED is of blue color. It has an adjacent red colored LED. The rest of the board is filled with green colored LEDs. In the initial state of the board, the blue and all the green LEDs are on while the red LED is off.

As you are observing the board, a green LED turns off at some point. Its disappearance - hardly noticeable between so many others. Some time passes. Another random green LED turns off at some other point on the board. With few more following, the disappearance starts becoming apparent. You, the observer, becomes aware of the phenomenon and actually anticipates the disappearance of another green LED.

The rate of the number of green LEDs switching off steadily increases with time. Blip, blip, blip. Thats how the board goes. Random co-ordinates. Its getting faster. The black of the background is becoming prominent. You can now make out even the clusters where the ON green LEDs are still dense. Even they are struggling to remain glowing.

A simultaneous event which may get unnoticed will start making its presence felt. As the rate of blipping of green LEDs increases, a faint glow starts coming in the red LED. Unlike the blue and green ones, the red LED seems to have the capability to have varying degrees of luminescence. It becomes brighter as the green ones start fading. After some time, it becomes quite noticeable.

The red glow following the rate of green blips continues for some time. But soon enough, the trend reverses. The red LED seems to have acquired a life of its own. Its glow is no longer controlled by the green blips. Rather, it is the red's brightness now which seems to accelerate the green blips. The more the red glows, the more the greens blip.

A state follows when the greens on the board are very few and standing alone at random locations which are not very close to the blue LED. Occasionally, one or two green LEDs suddenly become bright close to the blue LED. But only for a short time. The stable state returns and things remain calm. They would stay that way for a long time now. The blue LED has a red LED accompanying it and very few, random and far-flung green LEDs remain on the board.

Any guesses what is the black-board, and the LEDs?

Blue LED - A guy; me, you or our buddy.
Green LEDs - The blue's buddies. The nearer green ones are the closer friends, the farther ones are mere acquaintances.
Black board - The influence zone of the blue's contacts.

And the Red LED ?

Blue's girlfriend and later wife.

The green LEDs have their own respective black boards where they become blue LEDs.

An exercise left to readers :
You saw this scenario. Imagine what would be the scene like if green LEDs continued to disappear without the red LED even showing the faintest hint of glowing?


Nitin Pulyani said...

Interesting analogy. But I have an interjection here.
the scenario by far is correct. But the way it is presented makes the reader believe that the disappearance of the green LEDs is due to the increasing intensity of the red LED. It might have been the thought in your mind too, but there can be other factors on which this phenomenon can be attributed:

1. The influence of the blue light on the green lights.
2. The total power of the blue light. Let's assume it is constant. And whichever light is in the influence circle of it shares its pie. And there is a threshold level of each light. When the influence reaches below that level, the green light disappears. So the more power the blue LED has, the more balanced his arena becomes. Obviously red LED gets a larger share.
3. Individual intensities of each green lights. They also have a red light to divide its share with.

Overall, a splendid imagination and presentation. :)

Sachin said...

If Blue Light has the control then it can manage to glow with both Green and Red lights. The Catch is Blue should not give control to Red light.

Anonymous said...

A good imagination.

Id it is said...

I am lost on this one, but...
welcome back!

fafridi said...

nice analogy, but i really wonder why the glow of the red and green LEDs have to be related. but maybe only an ideal world would have it the other way

Anonymous said...

tiger ... bijli chali gayi to??