1
vote
2answers
29 views

optical diffusion (scattering) versus refraction

When an electromagnetic wave meets an interface a part of it is reflected and part of it is refracted (and from the refractive index I can calculate the angles of propagation and the intensities using ...
11
votes
4answers
209 views

Does the speed of medium affect the path of light?

Let's say I shine a laser from a stationary medium into a moving medium (suppose the water is moving very quickly) perpendicular to the interface and back to a stationary medium like this: (Note: ...
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Is a Perfect/Lossless Mirror possible?

In traditional mirrors, some of the input light is absorbed by atoms in the mirrors surface and are 'lost' as heat, degrading the quality of the reflected image. Could this loss be compensated by an ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

Duality behavior of light and effect of system scale on its behavior [closed]

Does an electromagnetic wave that makes by antenna behaves purely as wave for all the times? or it can change its behavior as photon? and does the scale of system effect on behaving as EM wave or ...
8
votes
3answers
515 views

Why use lasers for intense, localized heat instead of some other light source?

Lasers are used in various industrial processes that need intense, localised, heat (3d printers and laser cutters come to mind). My question is: why use lasers? There are many other (cheaper, ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

The skin effect and the reflectivity of gold

I am simulating a waveguide in COMSOL, a FEM solver. My model looks like this (it is similar to a standard Quantum Cascade Laser geometry): Therefore there is a very thin (30nm) layer of gold ...
5
votes
4answers
160 views

Question about the wave nature of light

I quote from my textbook, " Consider two vertical slits S1 and S2 placed parallel to each other, and a string is passed through them. The end B is fixed and A is given jerks perpendicular to its ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

What is the difference in application for near infrared camera data capture as opposed to infrared data capture?

I am trying to understand why I would use a near infrared as opposed to an infrared camera for data capture of vegetation health monitoring.
1
vote
1answer
137 views

How to calculate loss due to Gaussian beam divergence of a laser going through multiple lenses?

To better explain my question, I will need to give a brief description of the configuration used in 2D MEMS switches. So, the next figure shows a configuration of a 2D MEMS switch, a light beam ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Is my simulation result for unpolarized light correct?

This is a follow-up of this question. After that, I picked up some knowledge of FDTD (an algorithm for solving Maxwell's equations) and simulated following scene: Pic 1 As the picture shows, a ...
0
votes
2answers
262 views

Why does the light travel slower in denser medium? [duplicate]

Wikipedia says that "in general, the refractive index of a glass increases with its density." And the refraction index of water vapor is less than ice, and even less than liquid water. Is there any ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Would electron degenerate matter be a good x-ray reflector?

I do not know much about x-ray physics or degenerate matter, but I have the intuitive feeling that the high electron density and what must be some crazy band structures in electron degenerate matter ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Deriving and gaining intuition for the equation for the index of refraction $n = \sqrt{\mu_r\epsilon_r}$

I've come across the equation in the title. It relates the index of refraction of a substance to the square root of the product of the relative permittivity and the relative permeability at whatever ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

What really is reflection? [duplicate]

What really is reflection? Is it just the reemission of EMR? I asked my teacher, he said in quantum sense, it is true. But when I read something about emissivity in Stefan Boltzmann's equation, it ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Characteristic quantities in Fiber optics

I'm having trouble finding typical quantities in fiber optic communication. In particular, what kind of powers are generally used (or what is the minimum that fiber optics receivers can detect ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Spatial light modulation for mode multiplexing, how does it work?

If a laser light becomes spatial phase modulated (by phase only spatial light modulator) what happens to the intensity distribution and frequency spectrum of the laser light ? I know that this ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Do acousto-optic modulators shift the frequency of the diffracted beams?

Today I read an introduction on an optical device called an acousto-optic modulator, which is used in many optical experiments. It is the first time I have heard of this element. The material showed ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Why electric field has a major role in vision?

Although the electromagnetic wave is made op of both electric and magnetic fields the electric field contributes much in vision and is thus, called the light vector. But, why is it that the electric ...
1
vote
2answers
245 views

A difference between Plane Wave and Collimated?

Collimation is clearly in reference to ray($\vec{k}_{xy}$ vector) orientation unlike waterfront continuity( $\phi_{xy}$ phase shift) described by plane-wave. Not to say that one is not directly ...
1
vote
2answers
364 views

Exciting Surface Plasmon-Polaritons with Grating Coupling

I'm very new the topic of SPPs and have been trying to understand this particular method of exciting surface plasmons using a 1D periodic grating of grooves, with distance $a$ between each groove. If ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Michelson interferogram white light pattern symmetry

Why is the white light of the interferogram produced by using Michelson Interferometer necessarily symmetric? This is really hard to think.
3
votes
3answers
198 views

What electric field vector should I use for modeling unpolarized light?

Regardless of computational cost, light is a kind of electromagnetic wave, so it can be simulated with Maxwell's equations. If we want to simulate light with Maxwell's equations, we need to express ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Explanation of photon reflection [duplicate]

What occurs in atomic scale that cause the photon to be reflected? In other words, what is the reason for photons to change its direction and why material can reflect certain wavelengths and absorb ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Are there any known, non-spectroscopic effects of EM directly on Light?

Photons have no charge. Light is a form of electromagnetic energy. All spectroscopic effects (to my knowledge) are due to changes in electron state, induced either through an interior or exterior EM ...
10
votes
3answers
509 views

What causes atoms to have their specific colors?

I understand that light (color) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and that it depends on what wavelengths are reflected/absorbed. Though what property of an individual atom gives it its color? ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Why Negative refractive index is negative

$n=\sqrt{\epsilon \mu }$ Negative refractive index happens when permittivity ($\epsilon $) and permeability ($\mu $)of a material is negative. My question is, if permittivity and permeabilitity of a ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

How far can diffused undersea light travel and still be perceived by the human eye?

Example: If one SCUBA diver looks past another SCUBA diver horizontally into negative space, how far away is the most distant emission of 'blue' light waves? Consider the sight angle in question to ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Why is a $\pi$ phase added on reflection and why do things change with absorption? [duplicate]

Mathematically, how does a $\pi$ phase shift appear upon reflection of light off a optically denser medium? Why is it always $\pi$? If the medium is absorptive it is no longer $\pi$?
1
vote
2answers
200 views

Calculate the polarization vector on reflection or refraction from a dielectric interface

I am interested in ray-tracing polarized photons. I have code that works very well for unpolarized light. When a ray hits a dielectric interface the photon is either reflected or refracted by ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Energy conservation in plane wave

In plane wave the H and E are in phase. So the pointing vector disappears regularly every pi. How is energy conservation validated ? Is it through the uncertainty of energy and time ?
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Light entering in a 0° angle, is there any reflection?

Is there any reflection of light that enters a new medium at a 0° angle, if the electric field is such, that it is completely in the plane of the double layer?
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Cross-section of a wave packet

In text books, wave packets are one-dimensional drawings. But we live in a three-dimensional world. Suppose a wave packet from a HI-cloud (frequency 1420 MHz) is approaching the earth, distance about ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

How does an optic-mechanical laser read and send binary bytes to a CPU?

Thid greatly concerns physics, since a more refined version of my title will be rehearsed below: How is the physical structure of the mechanical eye use a laser to read binary bits held on an optical ...
6
votes
2answers
257 views

polarization of the lower mode gaussian beam

In most introductory analysis of Gaussian beam optics, Helmoltz scalar optics is assumed. Hence polarisation is ignored. But I'm not clear what are the possible orientations for the lower transverse ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

Simple Question: Speed of Electromagnetic Waves in a Medium

If the speed of an electromagnetic wave in a particular medium is such that $v = c$, the speed of light, does this mean that the permeability $\mu = \mu_0$, i.e. that of a vacuum and the index of ...
2
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
274 views

How do you calculate power at the focal point of a mirror?

I'm a Mechanical Engineering student and I'm working on my senior project, so I need help. My project is about designing a solar dish having a diameter of 1.5 meters and a focal length of 60cm. so at ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

Trapping EM radiation [duplicate]

Is there a material which can allow light (or any other EM radiation) to pass through from one side as if it is transparent but its other side reflects light like a mirror?
1
vote
1answer
248 views

Eikonal approximation for wave optics. Why follow the unit vector parallel to the Pointing vector?

The description of the passage from wave optics to geometrical optics claims that light rays are the integral curves of a certain vector field (the Pointing vector direction, normalized to 1). Here ...
3
votes
1answer
298 views

Computer-Generated Holograms: I'm completely lost. How are they physically implemented?

I have been reading about holography, and I think I understand the general concept, but one thing that has me completely lost is how computer generated holography works in practice. I think I get the ...
5
votes
2answers
454 views

Jones vector and matrices

With Jones vectors and matrices one can describe the change in polarization of a EM wave. What is the convention of the reference coordinate system; Is it fixed or does it change whenever the ...
2
votes
0answers
188 views

How to calculate radiative transition rate of exciton in a quantum dot with specific dimension?

I am writing rate equations for a nanophotonic system including three quantum dots. I need to calculate that radiative transition rates of exciton in ground state in those quantum dots. In the paper ...
2
votes
3answers
404 views

Difference in velocity of light in change in medium [duplicate]

It is often seen that according to physics the light changes it's velocity according to the medium through which it is traveling. So can it be explained that why so happen?
-1
votes
4answers
110 views

What kind of “camera” and “light” source should I use to detect the intermediate path of a light beam? [closed]

I would like to have an image (in any kind of space), where I see the path of a "light" source. In my understanding the most common, directed source would be a laser pointer. a) Is this correct? If ...
0
votes
1answer
229 views

Width of Gaussian Beam and Refractive Index

I know that in free space, the width of a Gaussian beam can be written as $W=W_0\sqrt{1+(\frac{z}{z_0})^{2}}$. However, I was wondering if it was possible to express this width as a function of ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Reflection of Electromagnetic Waves

Visible light - Being an Electromagnetic wave is reflected by glass (take mirror). Would all other waves in the electromagnetic spectrum be reflected in the same way by our simple mirror... For highly ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

limits on a gauss box of light

Consider a wall defined by $w(x,y,z) = \Theta(x-L)$ which is nonzero in the infinite semi-space of $x \ge L$, as well as a coherent planar standing EM wave travelling in the $z$ plane given by its ...
2
votes
2answers
426 views

Mean free path of UV photon

I was wondering if there's a simple way to compute the mean free path of UV photons in a optically thick medium with density n. I've looked up at the literature ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Liquid crystal polarizes light reflection question

I was hoping someone could help me with understanding why a row of polarizes reflects a light wave when the whole row is the same length as the wavelength of the light. I pretty much get the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Make a semi transparent mirror with copper

The question: How would you make a semi transparent mirror (50% reflection, 50% transmission) with glass with a layer of copper. For light $\lambda$ = 500nm Try to be as realistic as possible What ...