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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Reflectivity of gases

According to the principle of the conservation of energy, the following is true for an object: emissivity+reflectivity+transmittance=1; where emissivity=absorbtivity according to Kirchoff. When ...
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How to construct matrix to apply U(2) beam splitter to a N dimentional Beam

So I am trying to read this paper (no paywall here). In this the formal construction of a matrix $T$ is given as The product of matrices is equivalent to setting up experimental devices in ...
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Circular diffraction onto uneven surface

I'm trying to figure out how to solve for a surface using a circular diffraction. I have a pinhole diffraction that I'm projecting into a surface and I'm trying to figure out how to derive the shape ...
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32 views

Two thin lenses in contact [closed]

Two thin lenses with same focal length are in contact. what is the resultant focal length? Options a) f b) 2f c) f/4 d) 4f My Answer By both plotting the light ...
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42 views

How does Huygens Principle explain interference?

How exactly does Huygens theory about the propagation of wavefronts account for interference?
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How can an interference pattern encode both the angle of incidence and relative phase in a hologram?

For example - there are two "object" beams, both 180-degrees out of phase with the reference beam, which hit the recording plate at angles of incidence of 30-degrees and 90-degrees respectively. ...
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28 views

How can Young's double slit experiment explain the wave nature of light?

I've been reading about wave theory of light and the famous experiment performed by Thomas Young. But how does this experiment prove that light is a wave ?
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30 views

Optics simulation software for iypt #12 question thick lens

(As I'm writing these I viewed previous posts about optics simulation) me and some of my friends are working in iypt problems. one of the problem is named "thick lens" which says: A bottle filled ...
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26 views

Construct classical computer using classical light

Quantum light (i.e. photons), linear optics, adaptive measurements and feed forward can be used to build an efficient universal quantum computer. ref: Knill et. al. 2001. Clearly the above resources ...
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Fluctuation Dissipation Theorem [closed]

I take this course at university called Waves and Optics, and a few lectures ago our teacher talked about the Fluctuation Dissipation theorem but I didn't really understand it. The math behind it is a ...
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1answer
33 views

Why Does Thin-Film Interference Manifest Visibly Only on Thin Films? [duplicate]

We know that thin-film interference creates colors by constructive and destructive interference of different wavelengths. One of the better images I refer to is this: Though the example only traces ...
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1answer
41 views

Wavefront sensor specifications Shack-Hartmann

Why is the dynamic range of Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensors (As seen in the first image below) quoted in wavelengths and not in angles? I thought that one of the most important aspects of the ...
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257 views

Is reflection instantaneous?

I was wondering while reading "On the Electrodynamics of moving bodies" by Albert Einstein (1905) (Translated to English). In the paper, he describes the time as being: by definition that the ...
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Can multiple lasers be concentrated in a circular area using some optical arrangements?

Can multiple lasers be concentrated in a circular area using some optical arrangements such as using a paraboloid surface? If yes, why do in high laser power systems do they use only 2D arrays of ...
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33 views

What are some examples of non-Lambertian light scatters/radiators in everyday life?

What are some examples of non-Lambertian light scatters/radiators in everyday life? How to easily demonstrate their difference from Lambertian ones?
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49 views

Changing light beam direction

I'm using a rotating mirror to reflect a beam of light like that: where A is the beam source, B is the projection of the reflected beam on a surface at a distance y from the mirror, x is the ...
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1answer
63 views

Can one calculate the distance from Earth to the camera, given a single picture?

Given an image of (part of) a sphere of known size, can one calculate the distance to the camera based on the relative size of the sphere in the image? My instinct is "no" unless you have some fixed ...
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1answer
32 views

What temperature is achieved in focus point by 5000 flat 1x1cm mirrors onto a satellite dish?

There is this video ("R5800 Solar Death Ray") where teenager built a 5000 mirror device which concetrates the solar rays which is showing the potency of the mosaic method of concentrating sunlight ...
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How can colors from heat tinting depend on temperature only?

Colors caused by heat tinting of a material can be listed by temperature. For example, for carbon steel: ...
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is it possible to extract spectrum (color in general) from an animal [closed]

if i may ask....can this be ASAP? :3 my problem: okay this is going to sound lame, but i was wondering if it is possible to extract color (specifically spectrum) from an animal. this question ...
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2answers
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Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor concepts, pupil conjugate planes?

I am just starting to looking at the application of wavefront abberommtery to measure abberations in the human eye. I am confused over the pupil conjugate planes, do you use relay lenses to image the ...
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60 views

Safety glasses for a CO₂ laser

I am working on a CO$_2$ laser project and I know glass blocks the wavelength of the laser, 10,600 nm, well. So, should normal glasses work good as safety glasses or do I need to buy a specific one? ...
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2answers
105 views

Why can't we reach the ends of rainbow?

Rainbows are spectacular things. But I imagine why we can't reach to the ends of rainbows. Do rainbows have no ends ? If so, why can't we reach at them? If you go closer,they will go further. Why?
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1answer
60 views

Diffraction to be explained without Huygens principle

Can we explain diffraction without using Huygens principle?
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1answer
64 views

Why do propellers look like they are moving really slow when they are moving really fast?

I was just looking at an airplane video and was wondering why it looks like the propellers are moving relatively slowly when they infact have a RPM in the thousands probably.
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98 views

Spherical mirror ray diagram question

why does a ray, parallel to the principle axis, intersect the principal axis at half the radius of curvature, i.e. focus? EDIT I was taught that in a spherical concave mirror, the rays parallel to ...
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1answer
31 views

Does Bragg's law take into account atom size? (And should it?)

Bragg's law explains wave diffraction and interaction when electromagnetic waves hit a lattice structure: $$n \lambda = 2 d \sin \theta$$ See picture and details on Wikipedia. I am wondering if ...
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How can you determine the direction of the polarizing axis of a single polarizer?

How can you determine the direction of the polarizing axis of a single polarizer?
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Proof of the Burns-Schlueter Theorem

In a multiple lens system, when the image of the first lens lies behind the second lens, you treat the second lens as a lens of its negative focal length. That is, a converging lens becomes a ...
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1answer
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Ideas for improvised UV filter

I am doing a project where I would like to do some UV exposure to some concrete and stone samples. Therefore I have bought a couple of 400 watt UV bulbs, the product specification says it has an ...
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109 views

Intuitive explanation of Huygens construction?

I am having problems thinking about Huygens construction when a wave front hits a surface and am looking for an intuitive / easy to understand answers of the following points consider the diagram ...
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1answer
36 views

Why does an external laser drive only couples certain levels?

I was always wondering how is it that all the quantum optics levels schemes are depicted as if the laser couples only two certain levels with some frequency. For exmaple the standard lambda system ...
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1answer
96 views

Is the Wikipedia article on the Kramers-Kronig relations correct?

Reading the "Physical interpretation and alternate form" section of the Wikipedia article on the Kramers-Kronig relations, it says: The imaginary part of a response function describes how a system ...
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174 views

Is manufacturing roughness really the only reason we don't see optical interference in thick dielectrics like windows?

I had always kind of wondered why we didn't see interference in things like windows -- we were taught that the condition is that the thickness of the film/slab/medium just has to be an integral number ...
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35 views

Caustic airy equation and divergent series [closed]

How is the behaviour or creation or mathematical explanation of a caustic related to the divergent power asymptotic series in the limit $ x \to \infty $?
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35 views

Can circularly polarized light be transmitted through a fiber

Can circularly polarized light be transmitted through a fiber without loss of this polarization or will it just end up as linearly polarized light on the other side? Does polarization-maintaining ...
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How to make a rotating linearly polarized (not circular polarization) beam from a single beam?

One way to make a linearly polarized beam rotating at frequency $\Delta f\approx10\mbox{MHz}$ is by combining two circularly polarized beams, one left-handed and one right-handed, and where one beam ...
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Can time pass for a photon if it's moving in a medium? [duplicate]

If time does not pass for a photon traveling at the speed of light, which can only occur when traveling in a vacuum, what happens when it is slowed down by traveling through non vacuum space like ...
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2answers
120 views

Are there any ways to alter frequency of wave?

I want to know how can we change frequency of wave, both sound and light, and what is the nature of "changing frequency" Such as, any material could absorb and re-emit wave in another wavelength. Or ...
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Off-Axis Parabolic Mirror Elliptical Collimated Beam Shape

When you collimate a point source using an off-axis parabolic mirror (OAP) with a circular shape, the beam area of the collimated light becomes more and more elliptical (x-dir. is smaller than y-dir.) ...
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Collinearity of two infrared (10.6um) beams

I'm interested in aligning two infrared (10.6um) beams so that they are as collinear as possible. What is the best way to do this while maintaining the polarization of the two beams? Is there a ...
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1answer
37 views

Why we take two focuses in concave and convex lenses before the lens and behind the lens [closed]

we take f(one) and 2f(one) before the lens and f(two) and 2f(two) behind the lens.
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Why the Caustic of a circle is the most bright curve in the circle?

Caustic of a cirle is the envelope of light rays reflected by a circle, which is the most bright curve in the circle. But why? Here is the picture shows the Caustic of a circle.
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Visible light and colors

I recently read an article about quantum chromodynamics which suggested that quarks do not have actually colors because their dimensions are smaller than the wave length of visible light. My question ...
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Optical Activity

I was wondering, does the optical activity of a material change under a magnetic field? Assuming it did, how would one analyze this phenomenon in the eyes of classical electrodynamics or classical ...
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What challenges needed to be overcome to create (blue) LEDs?

In light of today's announcement of the 2014 Nobel laureates, and because of a discussion among colleagues about the physical significance of these devices, let me ask: What is the physical ...
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How would we see the earth if refraction of light was significantly stronger?

On worldbuilders there is a question about the cosmological consequences of a world with super-high refraction and atmosphere opaqueness. I'm assuming the easiest way to minimally change the laws of ...
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1answer
43 views

What are the 'types' of parametric down conversion?

I'm looking at photon entanglement, and everywhere in the literature there's a reference to 'type-II' parametric down conversion as a source of entangled photon pairs. I know what parametric down ...
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Clarification about Bragg's law explanation

The Wikipedia has this illustration of Bragg's law and then says The two separate waves will arrive at a point with the same phase, and hence undergo constructive interference, if and only if ...
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How to Ray Trace Chief and Marginal Rays in Thin Lens Systems

Looking at the below images, the chief and marginal ray appear to be modeled just fine. But, those lines don't seem to conform to the rules typically used in thin lens ray traces. An example of ...