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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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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62 views

What is the frequency of the color black?

Our eyes don't see light; they detect vibrations in the 400-800 THz range that we call color. Since our eyes can detect the color we call black, what is its frequency?
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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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Why did high quality mirrors use aluminum coatings instead of silver?

I have two questions on mirrors. I’ve read that in the past quality mirrors were coated with silver but that today vacuum evaporated coatings of aluminum are the accepted standard. When I look at ...
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What is the wavelength of the light and how far away from the central maximum are the first and second maxima? [on hold]

A single, monochromatic light source is shined through an etched, flat prism with a slit separation of 0.025mm. The resulting interference pattern is viewed on a screen 1.25m away. The third maximum ...
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What is the small angle measurement from the central maximum to the first maximum? [on hold]

Two thin slits with separation of 0.0200mm are placed over monochromatic red laser of wavelength 632nm. What is the small angle measurement from the central maximum (zero degrees, in-line with source) ...
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5answers
520 views

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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2answers
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How are aberration levels measured?

I was reading reading the paper: Predicting subjective judgment of best focus with objective image quality metrics when I come across this statement: Through-focus visual acuity (VA) was ...
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206 views

Is it possible to calculate the work function of a metal with basic lab equipment?

ive been given a problem in physics, its to prove if a lump of metal we have been given is real gold or not. one way to to do it would be to work out its density, which is fairly easy, mass/volume. ...
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Is it possible to surpass the diffraction limit for telescopes?

Telescopes have angular diffraction limit depending on the observed wavelength and aperture diameter. I've read that it's possible to go beyond the limit for microscopes. But is it possible to do the ...
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2answers
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Eliminating IR light reflection perceived by a steep viewing angle

I am having a problem with reflection on an acrylic surface, in the IR part of the spectrum. This reflection is interfering with an algorithm that looks at objects, as it makes two show up when only ...
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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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Wavelength-dependent refractive index

I read in a book about optical fibers that the different spectral components of a light pulse transmitted in the fiber propagate with different velocities due to a wavelength dependent refractive ...
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59 views

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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1answer
22 views

Recreating an image from a photometer or similar light-detecting device?

I'm thinking if it is possible to recreate an image from data from this kind of device. It is known analog signals theoretically have infinite resolution, but since we use them in discrete systems ...
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28 views

Visible wavelengths of air fluorescence data - needed for school demo laser telephone design

I'm seeking information about fluorescence in visible wavelengths (390-700nm) of any of the main constituents of air ( $ N_2, O_2, CO_2, H_2O, CO, etc. $) that can be excited with a (hopefully ...
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42 views

Why is the index of refraction different for different wavelengths? [duplicate]

The index of refraction can be written as $$n=\frac{\lambda_v}{\lambda_m}$$ where $\lambda_v$ is the wavelength in a vacuum and $\lambda_m$ is the wavelength in the medium. I’ve been told that since ...
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111 views

Is the plane wave model always valid in reflection and transmission?

my question is related to another one I asked, but I foolishly made that question about several things (experiment, computation, theory) at once so it was confused. I was talking to my boss about ...
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191 views

Alternate young double slit experiment

What will happen in young's double slit experiment, when instead of screen I put a black screen with a hole and a second screen behind the black one. Will it still form interference pattern albeit a ...
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51 views

Red light in the depths of the ocean

I've read that fish in the deep ocean tend to be red because it makes them look black for other fish, thus reducing their chance of being eaten. Why do they look black?
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2answers
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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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1answer
46 views

Optics phenomenon with my glasses?

When I look through my glasses toward the extreme left, a very odd and intriguing phenomenon occurs: The border of everything I see is lined with a hazy blue lining on the left and a hazy yellow ...
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Can I use an optical long-pass filter as a short-pass filter if I just collect the reflected light?

The transmission spectrum filter of long-pass filters are often better shaped than short-pass filters because long-pass filters are often specified for use in a very broad region from 200nm to 2200nm. ...
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2answers
425 views

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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1answer
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White light polarization by ground\sky

Why does light from the sun gets a slight (horizontal) polarization after bouncing from the ground? And same question for light which is scattered from the sky. Thanks.
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1answer
166 views

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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23 views

How to polarize a laser beam

I'm working on an optic project that I need my laser beam to be polarized. Do you a simple way to polarize my laser beam?
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1answer
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Why does normal incidence eliminate the photocarrier effect radiation in this experiment?

Here's a paper in which they use GaAs crystals at a few orientations to produce THz radiation, by means of Optical Rectification (OR). That's actually not what this question is about, though. They ...
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Is there a limit to telescope resolution? [duplicate]

Could a strong enough telescope read a newspaper on a planet 1400 light years away, or is there a theoretical limit to the resolution of magnification?
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148 views

The optics of vortex (in water): why there is a bright ring?

This picture is from this YouTube video from "Physics Girl", which shows how you can generate vortices in a swimming pool by using a plate: And there she explains the creation of the shaded circle ...
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62 views

How can I precisely measure the intensity of the Hydrogen Alpha (Balmer) line at low intensities?

I assume that I will need some kind of very precise filtering, but how is that accomplished? After that, photon counting at worst, but I am expecting millions of photons per second. The background is ...
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31 views

Is the human eye diffraction limited, or is there another limiting factor?

I know that most problems involving the human eye in my undergrad physics text book tell the student to treat the human eye as a diffraction limited system (ie to assume the only factor limiting human ...
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1answer
54 views

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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45 views

Are shadows cast on mirror surfaces?

While moving an object between a light source and a clean mirror surface, its shadow seems hardly visible (at least compared with a non reflecting surface). Is it correct that the shadow is not ...
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86 views

Spatial coherence of SLED light (width of active region?)

As far as I know, super-luminescent diodes (a.k.a. SLEDs) have a very similar structure to laser diodes, except that the front faces of the active region are tilted to prevent the sort of reflections ...
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17 views

Imaging and the Electric Field

In this book (pg. 162), it mentioned that conventional lenses only focus propagating waves, thereby creating an imperfect image. In contrast, superlenses focus both propagating and evanescent waves, ...
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30 views

Intensity measurement of light

How can I understand which color my camera is more sensitive to? How do I calculate the intensity from a picture? My understanding: Calculate the value at one pixel and just integrate with total ...
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19 views

Single slit diffraction treated as a differential equation

I want to find the values of electromagnetic fields that result from single slit diffraction. This should be possible by solving maxwell's equations for appropriate boundary conditions. But I'm not ...
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Deviation on the Diffraction Pattern when not perpendicular

Due to Babinet principle, Diffraction pattern of an opaque .... ( you all know ). here my opaque is my wire. So, I know that if I change the angle between beam and wire ( I mean if I don't aim the ...
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1answer
39 views

Different colors and Metamerism

Given the following graphs: They describe the response for two different colors . In addition that both colors are metamerism. My question is why? how can I prove it? Update: How can I draw ...
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Interference of Beams with Different Polarizations

I have read in many places that orthogonally polarized light beams do not interfere. However, I also know that orthogonal vectors, such as force, do affect each other and give a resulting force. So, ...
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37 views

What is the electric field of a diffraction grating?

I'm trying to follow the equations in "Introduction to Modern Optics" by Fowles. He starts out with equation for a single slit of length $L$ and width $b$: $ U_p = C \int \int e^{ikr} dA $ where $U$ ...
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1answer
162 views

Third-order susceptibilities of metals?

Can anyone point me to a source for measurements of the third-order nonlinear electric susceptibilities $\chi^{(3)}$ of various metals? Specifically in relation to the AC Kerr effect, so measurements ...
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Determining the spatial imaging resolution based on a pinhole diffraction pattern

I aimed a 780 nm/1mW laser at a 1μm pinhole and took a picture of it using a lens and a CCD camera. The magnification of my imaging system is ~25 times. I wrote some code that takes the image of the ...
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1answer
26 views

Connection between Polarization and Coherence in optics

It is not completely clear to me how the notions of polarization and coherence, in optics, work together! I quite understand both of them but it's still hard to grasp their deep connection. I'm quite ...
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1answer
84 views

Why does larger permittivity of a medium cause light to propagate slower?

I was wondering about what physically happens when light is transmitted through a non-magnetic medium. Specifically, I’m trying to visualize how materials slow down light as the electromagnetic wave ...
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1answer
31 views

Image formation or Diffraction?

I was watching this video on the YouTube channel Veritasium. In this episode, the host shows people paper containing holes of different shapes in the middle. So there is a paper which has a hole in ...
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1answer
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Is surface brightness constant as a function of distance?

Well of course it is - the flux drops off as the square of the distance, but the solid angle subtended by the source drops off the same way, so surface brightness is constant, right? Yet other ...