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

4
votes
1answer
56 views

Does a “reflected” hologram produce a caustic in the shape of the original object?

Imagine you make a transmission hologram, ala the standard picture. Now you take your photographic plate, and everywhere it is transparent, you put a thin reflective layer on, and everywhere it is ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Beam splitters- Direction of use

There are two cases I'm asking about. The square in the middle is a cube beam splitter in the same orientation for both cases. We are looking at the beam splitter from the top. In the first case, ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

fiber optic second order PMD as an operator on the tensor product Hilbert space

Second order polarization mode dispersion (SOPMD) is a coupling mechanism between polarization and frequency. Take our photon to be the following tensor product: $\psi = \int \gamma_{\omega} | ...
2
votes
2answers
804 views

How is the phase shift of light measured?

This may seem like a simple question, but I cant seem to make any headway. Consider the following; I have two beams of light, a reference beam $(A=\cos(wt))$ and phase shifted beam ...
6
votes
1answer
268 views

How do I use the electro-optic tensor?

I would like to calculate the performance of an optical phase modulator, in which a varying electric field across a crystal modulates the effective refractive index of light passing through the ...
4
votes
3answers
250 views

Is the number of rays projected by a source of light finite?

Take a source of light which gives out infinite number of rays, each ray with finite number of photons and each photon with a finite amount of energy, Then, Aren't the number of photons become ...
2
votes
1answer
263 views

Solar energy and optical fiber

I'm not really good at science or physics, just wanted to ask about the idea (doesn't have an opportunity to test this). Will this scheme work and what can be its efficiency?(The goal is to make ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

Optics Paradox?

Imagine we have two lens, one convex and one concave, spaced in such a way that the convex lens is before the concave lens. Now each lens has its own focus length and both are spaced such that the ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

What is primary reason for a matter to be transparent as Cornea is?

Is it because its internal structure is Crystalline? I mean by transparency following.
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?

Today's liquid crystal shutter glasses, when in the "transparent" state, exhibit only 40% light transmission. They work using two polarizer layers, one which is liquid crystal and goes {vertical ...
3
votes
5answers
11k views

Free Optics Simulation Programs

I'm having an extremely difficult time finding an optics program that is easy to use and offers accurate physics simulations. I'm not asking for much, I just want to be able to simulate a laser going ...
0
votes
1answer
283 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
287 views

Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, $C=-\alpha ...
3
votes
2answers
295 views

Redirecting light beams from beam splitters

I'm doing a project where I am taking a laser beam and sending it through a beam splitter. As I understand, approximately 50% of the light will go pass through and 50% will be reflected. So this means ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Optical microscope magnification limits?

Optical microscopes are quoted as having a maximum magnification of 1500x to 2000x - what is this calculated from?
3
votes
1answer
447 views

Different colors in LED/LCD display when viewed from different angle?

I want to know why different colours appear when viewed with a different angle. Can anyone tell me why?
1
vote
1answer
266 views

E and H fields created by fiber optics?

When an EM wave travels down a conductor, it creates and electric and magnetic field around (H) the wire and normal to (E) the wire. My question is, when light travels down an optical material such ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Misaligned Mirror on Michelson Inferometer

If one of the outer mirrors on a Michelson interferometer was to be misaligned by a small angle of theta, what would be the shape of the interference pattern in the detector plane? What would happen ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How to find focal length of a single convex lens?

I need help finding the focal length of a single convex lens. The radius of curvature is 200mm. left side is air and the glass has a index of 1.5. I search on google but there was only formulas for ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does your reflection stay the same size when you move further away from the mirror?

This was an experiment I saw in my son's workbook. It said to mark out the top of your forehead and the bottom of your chin on a mirror using a whiteboard marker. Then slowly move backwards, and ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to make the projected image smaller by adding one ore more lenses in front of the built in projector lense?

I have a projector that creates a large image, even if the distance to the screen is short. The device is very small, approximateley 10x10 cm if you look from above. The height is only 3 cm. I ...
14
votes
3answers
663 views

What are these rays that appear in photograph of sun?

In many images of light emitting objects we see such rays. Why do they appear ? What is the math behind their number and direction?
-4
votes
1answer
87 views

Photonics: Slab As a Lens [closed]

The question can be found here: http://gyazo.com/fc4d26cd35e6ce368ad2a8ed504f1dcc The refractive index it references can be found here: http://gyazo.com/94fd2f3b5ea7da9226c3acd56b0024c1 I'm not ...
0
votes
0answers
352 views

Intensity of the diffraction pattern of the double slit

I am trying another approach for my last unanswered question. (Bounty still on for 3 days. Anyone? Please?) Note that this is not the same question but a greatly simplified version concerning a much ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

Is there a simple model explaining Faraday effect?

I find magneto-optical effects fascinating, and especially the Faraday effect. But most sources only give a phenomenological description, while I want a deeper explanation of its mechanism. Is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
526 views

Are silicone polymers transparent to infrared light?

I know that silicon and even black plastic bags are transparent to infrared light. What about light-colored silicone polymers (take white or green colors)? Are they transparent to infrared light too? ...
0
votes
3answers
451 views

Conservation of energy with Huygens-Fresnel principle

I am currently experimenting with Huygens-Fresnel principle. I am trying to simulate the propagation of a beam, emerging from an aperture slot of width w. I assume the slot to be long and therefore ...
8
votes
3answers
465 views

Why do rainbows have distinct colors?

When I searched on the Internet for the reason of formation of rainbows, I got many explanations like this one & this. All the explanations consider only one spherical water droplet (like this ...
2
votes
3answers
411 views

Is there a simple approximation to calculate the index of refraction of water?

A very rough approximation from first principles, from the elementary charge and hbar, would suffice. But is there such an approximation at all? (Alternatively, if water is too difficult: is there ...
2
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
280 views

Why does heterodyne laser Doppler vibrometry require a modulating frequency shift?

On the wikipedia article (and other texts such as Optical Inspections of Microsystems) for laser Doppler vibrometry, it states that a modulating frequency must be added such that the detector can ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

Filming light in motion?

Regarding this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA, which claims to "film" light in its motion. Is it not an absolute nonsense? Even if photons could even be "seen" (meaning, returning ...
0
votes
2answers
427 views

Huygens-Fresnel principle

Huygens principle states that 1) Every point on a given wavefront may be considered as a source of secondary wavelets which spread out with the speed of light in that medium. 2) The new wavefront is ...
6
votes
1answer
267 views

How can I estimate the elasto-optic coefficients ($p_{11}$ and $p_{12}$) of a material?

I am attempting to estimate the elasto-optic coefficients ($p_{11}$ and $p_{12}$) of $\mathrm{TiO}_2$ and $\mathrm{ZrO}_2$, where $p_{11}$ and $p_{12}$ refer to the elements of a strain-optic tensor ...
-2
votes
2answers
161 views

Dimensions of obstacle needed to block light?

How many dimensions are required minimum for an object to block light? in 1d I doubt it's possible. in 2d I think it could do it if only the light was limited to a dimension perpendicular to the ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

Optical waveguide that can displace a 4D light field

Has anyone invented an optical waveguide that can "pipe" a scene from one place to another unaltered? More precisely, I want to displace (and/or rotate) a 4D light field. An optical waveguide is an ...
3
votes
2answers
352 views

Does a fluid's temperature affect the way light passes through it?

For example, if I were to supercool water would it's refractive index still be 1.33 or would it be 1.31, the same as water-based ice even though it's still in liquid form?
2
votes
1answer
989 views

What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
1
vote
1answer
355 views

If light diverges, how can there be a virtual image?

I have seen this question: Why can you see virtual images? but answers evade the question. Light needs to hit the retina in order, what is the meaning of "dashed" lines in most visualizations that ...
2
votes
3answers
260 views

Electrial Conductivity of Thin Metal Films

What is the best way to find specific/electric conductivity which is dependent of very thin film thickness?
2
votes
2answers
336 views

Reflectance of Titanium as Function of Thin Film Thickness

As far as I know, transmittance equals $e^{-\alpha x}$, where $\alpha$ is absorption coefficient and $x$ is thin film thickness($100-300\,nm$). My team and I have engineered a way to find absorption. ...
0
votes
4answers
462 views

Why does a photograph of a face look like it is always watching you?

Imagine a photo that is taken of someone looking straight at the camera. Why when we look at the photo now from any direction it looks as if the person is looking straight at us?
4
votes
1answer
703 views

How does a holographic object change perspective when the image is rotated?

Fundamentally i want to know: How do holograms work? The problem with that question is that normally you will end up with pages and pages talking about: a laser a beam splitter a diffuser the ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

In electro-optic material, what is happening to the structure of the material for the index of refraction to change?

I apologize if electro-optic material is not the correct word. As I understand it, when an electric field is applied to an electro-optic material, the index of refraction changes in proportion to the ...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

A problem concerning the change of temperature and spectrum of a filament

The spectrum of a filament has been given before, the left one having the lowest temperature, the middle with a medium temperature and the right one with the highest. My question is this: Why does ...
0
votes
1answer
928 views

How do Anamorphic images work? [closed]

I found the following anamorphic image on this site Can anyone explain the physics behind the working of such images? Can we create our own anamorphic images? If so how? Thanks in advance.
3
votes
2answers
88 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
471 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
434 views

Optical Drive Physics

I have been recently wondering how is data stored on and retrieved from optical devices like CDs, DVDs, and Bluray. What makes these different storage types different from each other?
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Does a FTS work on the same principle as a michelson (amplitude division) interferometer?

As far as I can tell within an Fourier Transform Spectrometer the spectral information is gained from changing the path length along one arm, this sounds very similar to a michelson interferometer but ...