Optics is the study of light, and its interaction with matter. It includes topics such as imaging systems, fiber optics, lasers, quantum optics, and more.

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Refractive index of dielectric in different frames of reference

The setup A transparent isotropic dielectric medium moving in the negative $x'$ direction at speed $v$ in frame $S'$ is stationary in frame $S$, where it has refractive index $n$. In other words, ...
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28 views

Sum of 2 Light sources [on hold]

When we have 2 sinusoidal waves with slightly different wavelengths and the same amplitude, the resulting wave has a changing amplitude (amplitude = intensity) which varies from 2*Amplitude to 0 ...
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26 views

Angular magnification of a two-lens system

Suppose an object is a distance $d_o$ from a first lens (which has a focal length $f_1$), where $d_o>f_1$. Behind the first lens is a second lens with a focal length $f_2$, such as to produce a ...
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Microscope Objective / NA, F/#, Exit aperture - when are they non-intuitive?

Numerical aperture (NA) $= sin(\theta)$ where $\theta$ is the half-angle (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numerical_aperture) F/# $= \frac{f}{D}$ (same reference as above) where F/# is the ...
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1answer
47 views

What happens to light at sharp points? [closed]

At the tip of the sharp point shown, what will happen to light incident on it. This curiosity was invoked by a friend and also my childhood of watching shiny pointed swords in cartoons. Original ...
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8 views

Lens parameters / Principal Planes vs. Entrance and Exit Pupil

Under what conditions are the Principal Planes not the entrance and exit pupil? For the definition of Principal Planes see: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/geoopt/priplan.html ...
2
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1answer
56 views

A beam of light, traveling around a planet

Some time ago, I happened to have found one problem: The refractive index of the planet's atmosphere decreases with height above the surface under the following law: $$n=n_0-\alpha h$$ ...
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1answer
95 views

Magnification of an astronomical telescope not in normal adjustment?

I am stuck on this question: A telescope consists of two thin converging lenses of focal lengths 100cm and 10cm respectively. It is used to view an object 2000cm from the objective. What is the ...
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74 views

Why is optical orbital angular momentum (OAM) called “topological charge”?

The terminology "topological charge" is frequent in lots of research papers related to optical vortex or optical OAM, it is used to represent the optical OAM. Why? How to comprehend it?
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50 views

Effect of water on an image

I am stuck on this question: "consider the image above, P is an opaque disc (lying in a glass beaker) illuminated from bellow by a source S. A converging lens L forms an image of this at Q. Explain ...
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2answers
67 views

Optical absorption in a semiconductor for $E<E_g$ [duplicate]

Quoting from Solid State Electronic Devices (by Ben G. Streetman and Sanjay Banerjee): A photon with energy less than $E_g$ is unable to excite an electron from the valence band to the ...
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2answers
43 views

does the positon of the virtual image change when I change position?

I placed a box in front of a plane mirror I looked at the image and smudged a bit of Vaseline on the mirror as a mark to indicate where I thought where the virtual image was. After that, I ...
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33 views

Increase contrast on the image taken by CCD camera

I project a pattern on a reflecting object and I capture the reflected pattern (reflected via the object) using a CCD camera. However, the reflected pattern has a very low contrast (due to volume ...
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1answer
178 views

why does the optical media have different refractive indices?

Optical density is a measure of the refracting power of a medium. In other words, the higher the optical density, the more the light will be refracted or slowed down as it moves through the medium. ...
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21 views

What are the current size limitations of NIR spectroscopes? [closed]

So few days ago I came across this new tool for smart phones http://www.consumerphysics.com/myscio/. It says it uses NIR spectroscopy, which I don't know lot about. My question is: Is it possible for ...
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1answer
39 views

Optical signal filters

Are there any optical filters which filter the signal's frequency and not based on the wavelength of the light? So what I mean is, if I have a modulated/pulsating light signal riding on a large DC ...
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71 views

Speed of light and distance

Our measure of distance (the meter) is defined in terms of how far light in a vacuum travels in a specific time. When light travels through another medium, we say it travels at a different speed. Why ...
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35 views

Drawing Ray diagrams

When drawing ray diagrams for concave mirrors, I was advised to : draw a ray that is parallel to the principle axis, the reflected ray will pass through the focus Draw a ray through the center (C), ...
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35 views

How to understand “the speed of propagation of the condition of constant phase”?

I still can't understand that the phase can be a constant until now. If the phase is constant, from the $$y(x,t) = a \times \sin(phase)$$ the shape of wave will be a line parallel to x-axis.But I ...
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1answer
74 views

Making fire using a filled water bottle

I have seen videos where a fire was started using a water bottle filled with water. I guess the bottle acts like a convex lens that converges light to a focal point to start a fire. But why does water ...
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1answer
76 views

Why aren't train headlights brighter? [closed]

I suspect a valid scientific, physics answer for this question, because I'd venture that train, insurance companies would've calculated and contemplated this question. Yet the train headlights at ...
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2answers
35 views

Resolution of the Eye-Light Rays and Diffraction

Please look at the problem. The problem is solved for me. However, I don't understand why the angle alpha is considered to stay constant when the rays go through the lens. The ray along the distance s ...
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22 views

What are some good resources for learning photonics?

Including the generation, transmission, modulation, signal processing, amplification, and detection/sensing of light, I am interested in getting a good understanding of photonics. Does anyone have any ...
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35 views

What is a good textbook to learn how to ray trace light through an optics system in 3d?

I can do 2d problems easily, but I need to learn more to do a 3D ray trace. Can you guys point me towards a textbook? I'm having trouble dealing with the normal and incident rays in 3D
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1answer
44 views

Why do we observe opposite motion of trees (nearer) and trees (distant) when seen from a moving frame? [duplicate]

If you are in a moving train or in a bus, what you observe is that the trees which are nearer to you move opposite to the direction of your motion. But the trees which are very far away from you, ...
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1answer
44 views

Some objects seem to have the same color whether the light that we perceive is emitted or reflected

Is color only a property of perception, considering these two examples: The glass used in a green traffic light looks green no matter how it is illuminated, either by a white light bulb behind it or ...
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1answer
28 views

Can a Chemical's Opacity be Deduced Mathematically?

all. I have tried Googling but have had no luck. My question is simple (although, I presume the answer is not): If one knows the chemical structure of, well, a chemical, could its optical properties ...
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1answer
24 views

Can a painting be used as a current generator via absorption of photons in the paint?

What happens to absorbed photons in a painting? Heat of course except for the free electrons. Could paint compounds (the dark, non-reflective) be embedded with reactive and conductive materials to ...
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1answer
32 views

Highly diminished image of an Object placed at Infinity

Consider an object at infinity. The rays coming from it are parallel to each other. Let one of the parallel rays pass through the focus $F_1$ of a thin lens, and let a second ray pass through the ...
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1answer
17 views

Calculate transparency from Beer-Lambert Law

I want to calculate a transparency parameter for a superposition of several volumes containing media using the Beer-Lambert Law, which states that $$I/I_0=exp(-\tau)$$ where $I$ is the transmitted ...
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2answers
55 views

How is photon time of flight/range over sub-millimeter distances measured?

I was reading a paper that described how the force a low-thrust torsion pendulum was measured. In it, the paper states a laser is bounced off a mirror and the displacement is "...based upon the beam ...
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882 views

Why are objects opaque?

I have been searching the internet for answers to this question, but haven't found a convincing one. I would appreciate any response. I understand why objects are opaque/black. For example when ...
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56 views

Optical absorption in multilayer structure

Assume a hypothetical 3 media/ 1 layer structure with the following indices of refraction: $$n_1 = 2, n_2 = 2+i0.5, n_3 = 1$$ where the thickness of the layer is 100 nm and wavelength = 1000 nm. ...
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1answer
35 views

Interferometer problem about periodic fringe patterns [closed]

Please,kindly help me; my teacher assigned me problem set, and she never went over anything about interferometers in class. Also, there is almost no information about about how to solve interferometer ...
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17 views

How absorption coefficient determines which material is used to make solar cells?

Does the knowledge of the material absorption coefficients aids engineers in determining which material to use in their solar cell designs? If yes, how?
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21 views

Refractive index variation with colors [duplicate]

To explain the spectrum formation in the prism, my teacher said that different colors have different speeds in a medium, so, refractive index is different for all. So, angle is different. But I don't ...
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2answers
507 views

If I reflect light from a projector using a mirror, then is the reflected image real or virtual?

I am in a great confusion about this question. In our school, we have been taught that: A real image is an image which can be obtained on a screen. It is always inverted. A virtual image is ...
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24 views

How can a semi-transparent object appear white? [duplicate]

Can an object appear opaque white to the eye and be transparent ; i.e. pass light through; In other words, is there any other way for an object to appear white, other then by scattering all the ...
2
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2answers
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Modeling the free space propagation of laser beams using Fourier transforms

I am trying to model the propagation of a laser beam in free space. I have an initial field $E_{in}(x,z=0)$ (a Gaussian beam) and need to find the fields at other points on the optical axis $E(x,z=d)$ ...
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14 views

Obtain scale factor by coordinates from the camera projections

I have a following optical system: 3 cams (left and top, which is orthogonal to the left, and right, which is parallel to the left and orthogonal to the top) and the 2 cubes in the 3D-space with ...
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1answer
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How to create crystalographic orientation map from indexed Kikuchi bands?

Can somebody explain a detailed procedure, of producing orientation maps? I need to implement this into a software. Right now im able to transform EBSD pattern to probabilistic Hough space, get lines ...
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1answer
24 views

Is there a way to calculate how a point source would be imaged in a system with spherical aberration?

I want to create a picture like this for the system I am building. (Source: WP page on spherical aberration) Can someone point me towards a book were I can learn to calculate this pattern on an ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is the sun brighter in Australia compared to parts of Asia?

Background: I've lived in Philippines for several years, and visited other parts of Asia occasionally (Singapore, Indonesia, Hongkong). I just moved to Western Australia a few months ago and I ...
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Is it possible to 3D print a mirror to create a high quality telescope?

Is it possible to 3D print a mirror with todays available materials? If so, would there be a reduction in image quality?
2
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1answer
53 views

Why does the speed of the Electromagnetic wave in the material depend on the frequency of the wave where as they are constant in vacuum (freespace)? [duplicate]

I am confused on why would the propagation speed of any EM waves at ANY frequency is constant in the free space (vacuum) but they seem to disperse in any other materials as the propagation speed of EM ...
12
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1answer
475 views

Why is Huygens' principle only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions?

Apparently Huygens' principle is only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions: http://mathoverflow.net/a/5396/21349 Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes Why is this? [EDIT] This is ...
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84 views

How to calculate magnification

I have various magnifying glasses and I'm using them when I take macro photos with a phone or a camera. I want to group/label my magnifying glasses by their magnification power. And by magnification ...
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1answer
154 views

Has anyone developed tunable notch filters in the visible RGB wavelengths which have very fast response times?

I am interested in whether the combination of a spectrometer and a tunable notch filter with notch frequencies at the visible red, green and blue wavelengths which have very fast response times could ...
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Optics - Derivation of Linear Magnification of Lens without Sign Convention [duplicate]

In some posts in this forum I've read that sign convention in optics is useful for making formula memorizing easier, and that we have to use sign convention again while applying the formulae to ...