If you could actually see Wi-Fi, this is what it would look like

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What if you could actually see Wi-Fi? It is something we all have wondered about. We can see the Wi-Fi routers in our homes and our offices, and we also know that somewhere around us are dozens of networks (just click on the Wi-Fi networks icon on your iPad or laptop) — but it is still hard to see how Wi-Fi,  a technology so core to our modern connected experience, really works.

A few days ago, I came across an article by Nickolay Lamm (writing for MyDeals), who, working with M. Browning Vogel, Ph.D, took the data about Wi-Fi coverage areas on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and superimposed it on actual images. The result is five gorgeous visualizations that show us how Wi-Fi networks propagate and work in the real world. Take a look: (All photos appear courtesy of Lamm/Mydeals)

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This image shows an idealized Wi-Fi data transmitted over a band that is divided into different sub-channels, which are shown in red, yellow, green and other colors.

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The Wi-Fi pulses are shown here as multicolored spheres radiating out from the source, near the right of the image.

Wi-Fi waves travel through space as rapid, data-encoded pulses. A freeze frame of these pulses would show that they are about six inches apart (as shown by the lightly colored bands traveling through space in this image).

Nickolay Lamm, MyDeals.com

This image shows data instantaneously transmitted over different frequencies from a Wi-Fi antenna as blue, indigo and yellow fields.

Wi-Fi broadcasts at a frequency between radio and microwaves, so the waves are about six inches apart, as shown by the colored, circular bands here

Wi-Fi broadcasts at a frequency between radio and microwaves, so the waves are about six inches apart, as shown by the colored, circular bands here

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