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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
0answers
214 views

Myopia / Hypermetropia eye glasses inverting image on retina

As far as I'm aware, the eye acts like a pinhole camera in that it inverts the image on the rentina. This makes sense as the rays converge and form a focal point that is upside down. Myopia ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM) of a transmission spectrum

I have a transmission spectrum of a material which has been fit to a Lorentzian. According to Wikipedia here and here, FWHM is the spectral width which is wavelength interval over which the ...
2
votes
2answers
923 views

Difference between propagating and evanescent waves

Currently I am reading about super lens and came across these two waves, propagating and evanescent. If a negative index material is used as a lens then both propagating and evanescent can be passed ...
1
vote
1answer
230 views

Speed of approach between image and object

A plane mirror image approaches the object at the same rate the object approaches the mirror. So the speed of approach is twice the speed at which the object approaches the mirror. If the object ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

How fast does light travel through a fibre optic cable?

The principle behind a fibre optic cable is that light is reflected along the cable until it reaches the other side, like in this diagram: Although I know that the light is slowed down somewhat ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Law of refraction from Scalar Diffraction Theory

I am trying to figure out if Snell's Law for refraction can be derived from Scalar Diffraction Theory. The setup is this: light (plane wave, with wave vector $\vec k_i = (k_x, k_y, k_z)$ ) falls on ...
0
votes
1answer
198 views

Magnification for a concave mirror

Here is the question as given in my textbook: Find the distance of the object from a concave mirror of focal length 10 cm so that the image size is 4 times the size of the object. The solution ...
2
votes
3answers
792 views

Why is it difficult to differentiate between interference and diffraction?

Why is it difficult to differentiate between interference and diffraction? Is it because we don't clearly understand how both of these phenomenon takes place? My thoughts: From an answer to one of ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Paralel light conditions after passing from a sphere

Is it possible to get such result that light will be parallel after passing from the sphere? what is the total condition for such result if possible? Thanks for answers
8
votes
2answers
614 views

Do mirrors have a “resolution” quality to them?

I would like to know if mirrors have a quality of "resolution" to them like a regular photograph might, or like a JPEG does. For example, if you looked to closely, or magnified a photograph, you ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

What are the values of effective mass approximation

For my research work i am trying to calculate band gap of zinc oxide theoratically and found this paper (Determination of the Particle Size Distribution of Quantum Nanocrystals from Absorbance ...
5
votes
1answer
221 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Diffraction pattern when wavelength tends to zero

While studying about Fresnel and Fraunhofer diffraction, I came across a statement which says that the fringes disappears and the image would take on the limiting shape of the aperture when wavelength ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Is there any case of total transmission?

When light strikes the interface of two media some light is refracted and some is reflected. But, is there a case where no light is reflected i.e all the light gets passed through the given object. ...
4
votes
2answers
583 views

Does diffraction occur before interference?

In the double slit experiment, light passes through two slits and the waves interfere and form an interference pattern. A single slit is required for diffraction. So, I was thinking about whether ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

Why an extra path difference of wavelength/2 is added when light reflects?

In my textbook it is given that in thin film interference a path difference of wavelength/2 is added up to the reflected light from the upper surface. But, how does that happen? No physics textbook of ...
0
votes
0answers
487 views

Simulating the Interference Pattern of Fraunhofer Diffraction by a Single Slit

I'm attempting to simulate the Fraunhofer diffraction pattern due to a single slit. We know that the intensity at an angle $\theta$ is $I(\theta)=I_0 \text{sinc} ^2(\beta)$ where ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Why does a laser beam diverge?

I was wondering why a laser beam diverges. If all the photons are in the same direction, I would imagine that it would stay that way over a long distance. I am aware that a perfectly collimated beam ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

Light in fibre optic cables

Imagine a fibre optic cable stretching from London to New York (5571 km) carrying a data signal This data signal is split into two parts, red and blue light Both signals start travelling down the ...
0
votes
1answer
168 views

question about the focul length and the position of a convex lens [closed]

How can I determine the focal length and position of a lens mounted in an inaccessible position inside a tube by a laboratory experiment? Please help.
5
votes
3answers
233 views

Dark matter is electrically neutral

I would like to know how come if dark matter was electrically charged it would reflect light. What are the equations or the logic behind it?
6
votes
1answer
372 views

Why does burning things make them black?

It's not clear to me how burning process can transform a material which was previously capable both of absorbing and emitting photon to one which can only absorb them. I would like to hear an educated ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

What happens if an already excited electron gets hit by another photon (lasers)?

Slightly vague title but it is the best I can do. My question stems from some interest in how 3 stage lasers function. A photon from the pumping source comes in and strikes a atom in the active ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
12
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Law of reversibility of light and total internal reflection [duplicate]

When a light passes from a denser to a rarer medium at critical angle of incidence the light rays graces through the surface of the denser medium.According to the law of reversibility of light same ...
10
votes
4answers
904 views

How big should a lens of a telescope be so we can see the American flag on the Moon from the Earth's surface? [duplicate]

How big in diameter should the lens of the imaginary telescope to be so we can see the American flag from e.g. some observatory in Hawaii?
3
votes
1answer
66 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
46 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 $\pi$?
2
votes
0answers
184 views

Optical Raytracing by using Adiabatic Hamiltonian Method

I'm looking into raytracing a Lüneburg Lens which is a gradient index (GRIN) optical element with a radially varying refractive index: $$ n(\rho)=n_0\sqrt{2-\left(\frac{\rho}{R}\right)^2}, ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Why is the receiver of this solar tower cream-colored?

I wonder, why the receiver of this solar tower is not black? Wouldn't a black receiver be more efficient? If not, why is it not white then, but is an intermediate color? It seems that the receiver ...
1
vote
2answers
140 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
987 views

How far can the human eye see? Any ending point or infinite?

How far can the naked human eye see if unobstructed? (straight ahead on perfectly flat land). Is there a stopping point or is it infinite when you look in the sky? Is there any situation that the ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Depolarisation of Light in Optical Fibre

I have a question for which I can't seem to find a solid answer in literature and wondered if anyone could offer advice or reliable references please: How does light depolarise in ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

Maximum-Entropy Method deconvolution implementation?

I am looking for an implementation of the Maximum Entropy Method for image deconvolution, ideally in MATLAB or Mathematica. I'm trying to reconstruct an image from fringe visibilities, as is often ...
11
votes
2answers
528 views

Why are so many different types of objects white, yet appear gray when they are wet?

There are many things with different textures that appear white – salt, beer foam, paper, shaving cream, snow, talcum powder, white paint, etc. The most common answer is all of the frequencies must be ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Intensifying a light source using black body concept

Is it possible to intensify light by initially passing it through an apparatus like a perfectly black body and then through a colloidal solution? What kind of material can be used inside the ...
3
votes
1answer
532 views

Fresnel Diffraction at a circular aperture

In Fresnel Diffraction at a circular aperture the central image according to 'Optics' by brij lal and subramanyam will be bright if odd number of full half-period zones can be ...
2
votes
1answer
203 views

Fabry-Perot cavities and phase difference

I'm reading a paper which says The beam that reflects from a Fabry–Perot cavity is actually the coherent sum of two different beams: the 'promptly reflected beam', which bounces off the first ...
6
votes
1answer
663 views

Wavefront RMS errors, mirror surface roughness and Gaussian beam scattering

What I'm interested is in the scattered power of Gaussian beams reflected from mirrors with a given surface RMS. Usually the surface RMS $\sigma_{s}$ of a mirror translates in an error for the ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Increasing the maximum angle of laser scanners with optics?

With laser scanning devices, very roughly speaking, the maximum deflection angle seems to be inversly proportional to speed. So for example, while acousto-optic deflectors can steer the beam very ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Faster than light in plasma

Some plasmas have a refraction index of less than 1. In these plasmas the phase velocity of light can be faster than light-speed. But the phase itself won't transfer information, so no paradox occurs ...
1
vote
0answers
130 views

If a beam of light follows the path $y(x)=y_0\sin(x/y_0)$, what is the index of refraction?

An exam question that showed up while I was studying: A plane wave refracts and follows a ray given by the equation $y=y_0\sin(x/y_0)$ where $y_0$ is a constant. Find the refractive index $n(y)$ ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Time duration for pulse of single electron viewed as a wave

Electron as an example has a de Broglie wavelength and could diffract. If it has a single wavelength the time extent of the particle's pulse duration would be infinite .. If it carries a broadband ...
7
votes
1answer
190 views

Book on optics in curved space-time

As evidenced from my earlier questions on vision and curved space, I am struggling a little bit with visual perception in curved space-time. I would like a book recommendation on optics and vision in ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is wearing 3D glasses from the cinema as sunglasses hurtful to the eyes?

I heard a few times that using them as sunglasses is hurting the eye since UV light is not filtered, but the pupil is wider than it would be w/o wearing them because the visible light is dimmed. I ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Does light loses its energy when it passes through denser medium

I know it does not because it emerges out of denser medium at 300,000 KM per second, but according to E=MC square and given that speed of light decreases inside denser medium with refractive index ...
1
vote
2answers
248 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
795 views

What is optical confinement?

What is optical confinement? What is it intuitively? How does this 'optical confinement' affect the performance of a laser?
3
votes
1answer
113 views

When one can make telescope that can distuingish 1 mas?

When one can make telescope that can distuingish(angular resolution) 1 mas object by angular diameter? If already possible, tell the name of telescope/observatory. How to calculate angular resolution ...