Tagged Questions

The subfield of optics in which light propagation is approximated in terms of rays. It mainly includes reflection and refraction on surfaces.

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Path of a light ray in a medium of varying refractive index [on hold]

How do we get the equation for the path of a light ray in a medium of varying refractive index. I can draw a rough sketch, but don't know how do we get the exact curve. I encountered this while ...
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Scratched microscope slide creates images at two focal points [closed]

I am trying to do a homework problem which is the following question... To determine the refractive index of a transparent plate of glass, a microscope is first focused on a tiny scratch in the upper ...
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How do a microscope's optics expose defects in the user's vision?

I've got cataracts in both eyes. My vision is correctable to 20/30, so the cataracts are essentially a non-issue in daily living. But when I use a microscope, which I do daily, (binocular, zoom ...
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Infinite total internal reflection

Suppose that I have a block of some transparent material, glass, for instance, with a certain index of refraction. Suppose that the transparent material is placed in air or in any other transparent ...
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Magnification in compound microscope

I was studying about compound microscope here I don't see why we multiply linear magnification of objective with angular magnification of eyepiece. Shouldn't it be both angular or both linear? Can ...
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Why isn't the magnifying power in a compound microscope zero when image is formed at infinity?

I think, in a compound microscope, angular magnification and lateral(or linear) magnification is given by the same formula for both image at infinity and near point(D) And the formula is ...
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Optimization of transfer matrix method for quarter wave stack

Does anyone have any tips for Matlab optimization algorithms to use with a 2x2 Transfer Matrix Method Program? I have written a Matlab function that takes a series of refractive index values and ...
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Why would the reflection of a lamp by a bowl look like a heart?

I have this bowl roughly the shape of a circular truncated cone, and the lamp shines on the bowl at an angle. The reflected lamp light hit the bottom of the bowl and created a light ring that looks ...
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How does Huygens Principle incorporate the unidirectional property of a traveling wave?

I was reading French's Vibrations & Waves where he discusses Huygens-Frensel Principle. The principle talks about how secondary sources give rise to secondary wavelets to form the displaced ...
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Examples in which the light maximizes the optical path length

I posted a similar question about geodesics on Math.SE. Many sources (Wikibooks for instance) claim that the light could maximize the optical path length in some cases. But I don't think it's actually ...
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Why does in the definition of 'optical path', only spatial phase change is taken into consideration & not that of time?

In Concepts of Physics by H.C.Verma, I got the definition of optical path. However, one thing that I couldn't understand is why only the spatial phase change is considered in its definition. As he ...
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Experiment to test flatness of prism

I have a Prism glued to a prism plate. Let's say the method of using optical glue is good enough, and minimal human error is tolerated. What experiment would be a good to check if the prism is not ...
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Finding the illuminance from a triangular light source

Since most light sources in games are point-like, it's pretty difficult to approximate area light sources with point sources. As triangles are a universal form to represent 3D models (thus area light ...
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In Fermat's Principle of Least Time, how do we know that light is able to reach the end point?

From my understanding of Fermat's Principle, you decide a start point and an end point for a light ray to travel between, and the light 'chooses' whichever path takes the least time (or technically ...
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How to calculate the diameter of a thin lense?

A photo produced with a single thin lense is provided. Only based on the photo I should calculate the diameter of the lense. The photo shows a ruler in the foreground and a point source of light in ...
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Reflection at intersection of two mirrors

Consider two mirrors, which intersect at an angle. Let us talk about geometric optics. If we draw a light ray intersecting the mirrors at their point of intersection, how will it reflect? What will ...
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Good resource for geometric optics

I'm looking for a good resource (preferably a book) on geometric optics. I am thorough with the basics (the mirror formula, lensmaker's formula, thin lens formula, etc). What I want is something that ...
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If a lens focuses all incoming light to a point, how do we get 2D images?

How do lenses produce 2-dimensional images, if a lens bends all incoming rays of light to intersect at the focal point? Shouldn't this produce a single dot of light on a screen placed at the focal ...
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How to estimate if an image is in focus

I am building a test measurement (optics) to look a rectangular slit opening (1mm x 15 microns). The slit opening is illuminated by a white LED and using a microscope objective to magnify it to 10X on ...
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Reflections in Rearview Mirror

In the rear view mirror of your vehicle, the driver in the car behind is on the driver's side and the passenger is on the passenger's side. When they raise their left arms they are on the same side as ...
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How to make the projected image smaller by adding one ore more lenses in front of the built in projector lense?

I have a projector that creates a large image, even if the distance to the screen is short. The device is very small, approximateley 10x10 cm if you look from above. The height is only 3 cm. I ...
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Way of measuring thickness of a glass [closed]

Imagine you have a laser pointer and a glass. You don't know the refractive index of the glass and you just have Wavelength of laser! How can you measure the thickness of glass? (I have some idea but ...
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Configurations and configuration manifold in Lagrangian Optics

In Classical Mechanics, given a certain system of particles it is possible to consider the configuration manifold $Q$ which is a differentiable manifold whose points are possible configurations of the ...
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What is really a light ray? [duplicate]

I've been studying geometric optics and I'm still a little confused with this idea of light ray. In the book I'm studying everything is being done starting from Fermat's principle which states that ...
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Calculating light's lateral shift in a glass slab

I have tried to compute light's lateral shift after passing through a glass slab In terms of the incidence angle $\theta_1$, the slab thickness $d$ and the refraction index $n$, I have found that ...
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How can one prove the equation for a system of lenses? [closed]

Let's say we have a system of 2 lenses which are placed in a non-negligible distance $L$ from eachother. How can I prove without using geometrical construction and principal planes that \frac 1f ...
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Principle of fibre optic cable coating

I was reading about fibre optic cables and it was mentioned that ,the individual "light pipes" are coated with a material whose refractive index is less than that of that of the glass. My question is ...
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In geometric optics we treat light as a collection of particles?

I've been reading the book "Geometric Mechancis" by Darryl Holm and the in the first chapter he treats geometric optics. There the author talks about light rays and those light rays looks like ...
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I am trying to follow the derivation of lens maker's formula from the textbook "University Physics", p.1133 ...
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What is the total internal reflection?

From what I read, it sounds like when a light ray passes from one medium to the other, if the critical angle is reached so that the refractive ray is at 90 degree with the normal, the light ray does ...
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What's the difference between two types of diaphragms?

What's the principal difference between aperture iris diaphragm and field iris diaphragm?
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Does “converge” mean intersecting and producing image when we are taking about convex lenses?

After reading the chapter on convex lens, I saw several places where "converge" is used. In the very beginning of the chapter, my book says "converging lenses bring light together". So I thought ...
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Why does an image form at the intersection of light rays?

If image is simply what we see, then why, when light rays bend in the atmosphere, enabling us to see the sun, is there no intersection of rays? The concept is strange. I can not relate it to ...
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When to use lateral magnification vs angular magnification?

What is the essential difference between lateral and angular magnification (like why do we need to use both and when do we use which)? Also, is there a relationship between the two magnifications?
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General proof of formulas of geometric optics?

In most lf textbooks formulas of geometric optics like lens maker formula and base formula for that are proven (or rather verified from my point of view) by taking specific case (ray diagram) and ...
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A mirror flips left and right, but not up and down

Why is it that when you look in the mirror left and right directions appear flipped, but not the up and down?
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Bragg's interference

This may be a little of a stupid question. But I was looking at a diagram describing Bragg's Law of Diffraction. and I was like...how can an interference happen if wave beam C and wave beam C' are ...
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Why are mediums always represented as straight and parallel lines in Ray optics?

I have been reading Ray Optics lately and I always see that the interface between mediums are always represented as Straight lines in ray diagrams. There is no mention that they are considering an ...
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Inside a spherical mirror

imagine standing inside a sphere composed entirely of mirror surface; what does this look like? inside is lit by an invisible light source if each point encounters a reflection of itself, what is ...
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Why would longer distance between collimated lenses improve coupling efficiency?

Im coupling 1550nm output from a single-mode lensed optical fiber to a standard SMF using a pair of collimating lenses, matched to the NA of the respective fibers. However, I find that by increasing ...
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Can QED explain this or do I have revert to the classical model of light?

I want to know can QED can explain this image,like why there are someplaces with low light (shadows) like behind the chair, and why there are some places that are bright(rest of the floor). I know ...
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How can line be parallel to Pricipal Axis after following Paraxial Ray Approximation?

I Studied In my previous Standards that Light Parallel to principal axis passes through focus always in Concave Mirror. But Now In one Book I read that there is a condition which should be followed ...
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What is Retracing in context of this Question?

My textbook Question is Two Mirrors are inclined at an acute angle theta.Light ray is incident parallel to one of the mirrors. Light will start retracing its path after third reflection if angle ...
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How second image is brightest here?

One of my Textbook's Multiple Choice Question is- A Thick plane mirror shows a number of images of the filament of an electric bulb. Of these, the brightest image is the- First Second Last Fourth ...
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Is it possible to make glasses that make everything brighter, but do not magnify or focus?

Corrective glasses are usually intended to help focus light on your retina. Supposing I had good vision already, but simply wanted more light, could I make glasses that would send more light into my ...
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Determining path of light through a nanolens

In the case of light passing through stacked liquids, we can use a ray approximation of the path of light to determine the path taken through each layer of liquid using Snell's law. From all the ...
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Re-reflecting in HUD optics

Simple HUD optics design can be described with below image. (source : http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/hud/head_up_displays.html) As you can see, if combiner and colimating lens(after fold mirror) ...
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Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
When we compare ion optics with light optics, normally we consider electric field. For example Snell's law. $n_1\sin\theta_1$=$n_2\sin\theta_2$. When an electron move from one electric potential to ...