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25
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does wet skin sunburn faster?

There is a popular belief that wet skin burns or tans faster. However, I've never heard a believable explanation of why this happens. The best explanation I've heard is that the water droplets on the ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

Why can you see virtual images?

In optics it is widely mentioned real images are projectable onto screens whereas virtual ones can only be seen by a person. Isn't that contradictory? I mean in order to see the virtual image it has ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do nearsighted people see better with their glasses *rotated*?

If you are nearsighted (like me), you may have noticed that if you tilt your glasses, you can see distant objects more clear than with normally-positioned glasses. If you already see completely clear, ...
14
votes
3answers
602 views

What are these rays that appear in photograph of sun?

In many images of light emitting objects we see such rays. Why do they appear ? What is the math behind their number and direction?
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Are Fresnel lenses widely used for solar electricity? If not, why not?

I was just wondering why Fresnel Lenses are not widely used in the production of solar electricity. Their use there would mean that you could produce heat within a fraction of a second, up to a few ...
9
votes
3answers
364 views

Put a sensor at the focal length, behind, or in front?

My intuition tell me that at the focal length a convex lens all the light converges to a point. Following that logic, it would make sense to me that a camera chip would either need to go slightly in ...
8
votes
1answer
817 views

Glass that only allows light of specific amplitude to pass through it

Is there a type of glass, mirror or lens that allows only lights of amplitude equal to or greater than a fixed value to pass/reflect through them?
7
votes
5answers
210 views

What causes blurriness in an optical system?

The way I understand the purpose of a typical optical system is that it creates a one to one mapping between each possible incident ray and a point on a sensor plane. This is like a mathematical ...
5
votes
2answers
781 views

how does a sniper scope work?

How does a sniper rifle scope enables us to pinpoint the exact location even though the lens in situated 5-6 inches above the muzzle. The bullet leaves the muzzle and hits the target exactly where the ...
5
votes
8answers
473 views

Is there a lens that would invert my vision?

Would I be able to invert my vision by mounting a particular lens in front of each eye? I am currently able to achieve this by mounting a right-angled triangular prism across both eyes. The specific ...
5
votes
5answers
368 views

do lenses with curved focal planes exist

I know about spherical, aspherical, cylindrical lenses, but are there lenses that could have a curved focal plane? for example, the retina of the eye is curved, and still we see sharp images of ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Smaller Airy disk with another lens?

Is it possible to reduce the airy disk size produced by one lens with another lens placed after the previous one? For example, parallel ray incident on first lens L1 (without aberration), then there ...
4
votes
4answers
189 views

Thin lens formula

Can someone help me or guide me how the thin lens formula: $$\frac{1}{s_1}+\frac{1}{s_0}=\frac{1}{f}$$ can be proven? I was trying to prove it on my own using similar triangles, only to fail.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Optics, lenses and our eyes

When we view an image, is the focal point of our eye on our retina? Shouldn't that hurt? Also, if that is how our eye works, then why don't lenses put the focal point their equivalent retina? I was ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Optics Paradox?

Imagine we have two lens, one convex and one concave, spaced in such a way that the convex lens is before the concave lens. Now each lens has its own focus length and both are spaced such that the ...
4
votes
1answer
448 views

Compound lenses and virtual images

Ok so I have this problem where I have a system of two lenses. All I know is that the distance between the object and the first lens is 30cm, the distance between the object and the final image is ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

On the optics of high-resolution surveillance drones

In this youtube video (which is an except from a documentation I believe) a DARPA development for a high-resolution surveillance camera is presented. This question is regarding the optics that are ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Diffraction by a lens

The fraunhoffer treatment of circular apertures yields a diffraction pattern of circles, with the first minimum (dark ring) at an angular radius of $\theta$ where $\sin(\theta)=1.22\lambda/b$, where ...
3
votes
1answer
679 views

Calculating minimum object distance for a lens

I am trying to figure out the Minimum Object Distance based on a simulation available here. In case you can't open it (it's a Java applet...) I'll describe it briefly. It shows an object emitting ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How to draw a ray diagram from focal length, object and image heights?

Q. An object of height 8 cm is placed in front of a lens. It's inverted image of height 4.8 cm is formed on the screen. If the focal length of the lens is 12 cm then by drawing at scale calculate the ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

Effect of gas or liquid within a compound lens system

Hi my question is if a compound lens system if filled with gas or a liquid how does it affect the system when compared to the lens system being separated by air alone. Does this affect the focal power ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Plano-convex lenses

When the spherical side of a planoconvex lens is towards the source we will see reduced aberrations normally we use it for the beam collimation. When we use two planoconvex lenses configuration why we ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How to find focal length of a single convex lens?

I need help finding the focal length of a single convex lens. The radius of curvature is 200mm. left side is air and the glass has a index of 1.5. I search on google but there was only formulas for ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

How does a flat wedge lens work?

I've been seeing this lens in a lot of places especially microsoft: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=rJ1p5SD3sOM#t=45s ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Help calculating field of view for ball lens I just bought

I have a 5 mm (diameter) solid ball lens that I intend to place in front of a 36mm X 24mm camera sensor (I have already made preparations for the image to be focused and for the sensor to not be ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do focal lengths affect magnification?

For compound lenses, the image formed by first lens acts as the imaginaryobject for the second lens. In telescopes, the objective lens projects an image on its focal point which works as the object ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Proof that a spherical lens is stigmatic

In geometric optics, we generally allow that, for example in the case of a convex lens, rays coming from a particular point get refracted towards another particular point on the opposite side of the ...
2
votes
3answers
811 views

What does the optical zoom in telescopes do?

How does the optical zoom works.. Does it brings the light closer to the object... Or Does it just enlarges the picture of the object. In other words... Suppose I have telescope with 1 light-year ...
2
votes
2answers
472 views

Why does aperture size affect depth of field in photography?

Why do small and big holes (the aperture) in a lens change the depth of field in the image? (if you have big hole you have smaller depth of field). I wondered if I should ask this on ...
2
votes
3answers
44 views

In an optical system with a single convex lens, where should the image area be placed in order to take pictures at infinite focus?

I'm trying to learn how camera lenses work, and have gotten stuck. Say that we have an optical system consisting of a single lens with focal length f, and we want to take pictures of objects which are ...
2
votes
3answers
839 views

Proof of minimum distance between object and image of a convex lens image being 4*focal length

I can prove that the minimum distance between an object and its image, through a convex lens is 4*focal length, if I assume that the distance between the object and the lens is the same as the ...
2
votes
3answers
407 views

Divergent thin lens producing real images

The question is as in the title, can a divergent lens produce a real image, when backed by a convergent lens? Which are the conditions to be respected? This was a homework and I have received the ...
2
votes
2answers
78 views

How to produce a loss-free combination of two “identical” beams?

This is for anyone with experience in optics/imaging/photography as well as anyone who likes to puzzle over tricky physics problems. As the title suggests, this is about combining two (for all ...
2
votes
2answers
707 views

Why do powers of lenses get added?

In our physics class, we were told that a power of a lens is defined as the reciprocal of its focal length. Also, the powers of multiple lenses get added up. But I didn't understand why this is. I ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Interference at the focus of a convex lens or a concave mirror

Now consider parallel rays travelling towards the convex lens. After emerging they get converged at the focus. Won't this lead to interference between light rays? Practically it should but I would ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

WHY is a Refracting telescope image distance $S'=-\infty$?

In the above slide, it says that "Eyepiece '2' makes the image distance $S'$ approach $-\infty$." However, What I don't understand is that if I place my eye right at the Eyepiece 2, then I would see ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

Change in focal length of lens inside water

I read it on Yahoo Answers (link below) that the power of lens changes when the lens is placed inside water. But then, if we consider the formula f=c/2 , the radius if curvature of the lens still ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Curved lines in a picture (Photography)

My problem is when I take a picture (a close one) the straight edge looks a little curved. In a standard camera, like a CyberShot. I would like to know if there is some relationship between the ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

What is “field size” when referring to perspective?

I'm trying to get my head around perspective. If you look at the animation in Wikipedia : You can see that the cube looks very distorted, then the edges go more parallel. From my understanding, ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

How to calculate beam spread of a non-point light source via an aspheric lens

I need to determine the angle, or rate of divergence of light from a single aspheric lens when I place a non-point light source (e.g. LED array) at a given distance from the lens which is less than ...
1
vote
3answers
349 views

What happens to the index of refraction of a lens if placed in water?

What happens to the index of refraction and focal length of a lens that is initially in air that is then placed in water?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Calculate the distance between two points from iPhone Camera

I want to calculate the distance between two objects using an iPhone camera. Suppose I'm standing with my iPhone 10 feet away from the objects. Now, I want to calculate the distance between those ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

Good explanation of a real image?

Okay well I've started to study phys chem in school recently and I honestly can't get my head around what a real image actually is I've asked my teacher to demonstrated it but she's quite lazy, and ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Electromagnetic radiation lenses

This will probably be a very basic question, but looking for a simple answers. What I know the visible light is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a defined wavelength. the full spectrum ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Ideal distance of eye from a lens

I observed that when I keep constant distance between object and lens but I move my eye, I get different magnification. When I am closer to lens I can see large image of the object. But if I go away ...
1
vote
2answers
231 views

Is it possible to enlarge the output angle of a projector with outside lens?

I have a very small projector, with a small output angle (30 degree). In my current demand I want a bigger output angle(90 degree), so that I can get a bigger image within a given distance. Is it ...
1
vote
2answers
180 views

Do eye-glasses decrease the Depth of focus?

I was reading up about Depth of Focus and wondered if glasses affect depth of focus. If yes, is it noticeable to the user?
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Is a lens with a focal point that doesn't shift as sun shines from different angles possible? [closed]

My question: Is it possible to manufacture a lens whose focal point doesn't shift in any direction during the day when the sun shines from different angles? It is understood that the focused energy ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Simulating an Optical Lens

An optical lens focuses the light according to a rule (due to its special shape) and we know that rule. Now, instead of making bigger and bigger lenses, can we use an array of optical sensors and the ...