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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Malus' Law (Polarization) [closed]

Consider the image below: Let $\theta_2$ be the angle between the axes of transmission of Polarizer 2 and Polarizer 3 and $\theta_3$ be the angle between the axes of transmission of Polarizer 3 ...
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386 views

Effect of gas or liquid within a compound lens system

Hi my question is if a compound lens system if filled with gas or a liquid how does it affect the system when compared to the lens system being separated by air alone. Does this affect the focal power ...
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582 views

Can thick-film reflection holograms be used to create true mirrors?

Experimental alert: Someone may be able to answer this question experimentally simply by going to a shopping mall and finding the right piece of holographic jewelry. My question is whether the type ...
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127 views

Angle of rays leaving a light source

I'm working on ray tracing and I'm trying to understand the impact of the angle at which a light-path intersects the surface of a light source on the amount of light that source delivers to the path ...
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998 views

Laser Coherence Length/Time

Scenario: Imagine a collimated beam of white light falling on one refracting face of a prism. Let the light emerging from the second face be focused by a lens onto a screen. Suppose there is linear ...
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417 views

What causes a ring-like image around light of the moon?

I just encountered an interesting image in sky. As you can see in following images there was a ring-like image around light of the moon. I don't know if it was clouds but it was looking like it is far ...
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1answer
171 views

Image Formation (Convex-Convex lenses)

I'm given with these data: Lens 1 and lens 2 are convex lenses with different focal lengths Distance of object from lens 1: 50 mm Distance between lens 1 and lens 2: 100 mm Distance of final image ...
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843 views

What phenomenon is used is Optical fibre?

I want to know which phenomenon is used in fibre optics to transmit light rays. I visited http://en.wikipedia.org but did not find it. I also tried it on google but all in vain. Can anyone please tell ...
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How does a lens affect the field of view in a mirror?

If one looks into a mirror, he can see a certain field of view. If he places a convex lens that magnifies (or a concave lens that does the opposite) in front of the mirror, but so that he can still ...
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2k views

Application of diffraction problem!

Here is a problem that I am working on, which is the applying the concepts of diffraction to the setting of the sun: Air has a small, usually negligible index of refraction. It is 1.0002926. This ...
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80 views

The Fraunhofer Measure

In a well known Maxwell paper he uses the units of wavelength which he calls the Fraunhofer Measure. He states it for the Fraunhofer D and F bands as $$\lambda_D = 2175 \text{ crazy units} = 589nm$$ ...
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277 views

How big of a lens or parabolic mirror would it take

...to heat a piece of steel so its glowing yellow (1100 C)? Assuming you had a cloudless day at a latitude of, say, San Francisco... Basically I'm wondering if it is possible/feasible to be able to ...
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267 views

Why does a blue sky at dusk appear nearly black through a telescope?

Earlier this evening I was looking at the Moon through my cheap toy telescope (x150 magnification) when I noticed a (rather mundane) optical effect I couldn't explain. The Sun had just dipped below ...
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304 views

Reflectance and phase shift vs incident angle and wavelength

Plot the refectance and phase shift on reflection $\varphi$ for p and s polarized light versus incident angle $\theta$ for various wavelength $\lambda_1=.., \lambda_2=..,..$ in the simple case of ...
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947 views

Photon energy - momentum in matter

$E = h\nu$ and $P = h\nu/c$ in vacuum. If a photon enters water, it's frequency $\nu$ doesn't change. What are its energy and momentum : $h\nu$ ? and $h\nu/c$ ? Since part of it's energy and momentum ...
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87 views

image distortion when taking a picture from space

I'm trying to understand if there is a distortion of an image taken from space (i.e. from a satellite), and if there is, then how to model it mathematically (depending on the angle in which we take ...
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105 views

Is it possible to create a head-mounted optical device that allows the user to see the wind?

Is it possible to create a head-mounted optical device that allows the user to see the wind, by means of thermal imaging / infrared detection, variations in the light's refractive index, or something ...
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598 views

Calculational method for determining surface tensions from photograph of menisci?

How can I get from a photograph of a liquid surface to a value for the surface tension.
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210 views

Photon Statistics of a Coherent Gaussian Beam [closed]

Assume that a 100 pW He-Ne single-mode last emits light at 633 nm in a TEM00 Gaussian beam. (a)What is the mean number of photons crossing a circle of radius equal to the waist radius of the beam ...
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3answers
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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?
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424 views

Dispersion & Absorption in Optics

1) I understand light dispersion. But, I wonder what happens if I used a lens to focus it into a small point. Would it be a white point (would it reverse dispersion) or would I have a multicolored ...
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89 views

Human eyes vs aberrations

There are no perfect lenses in nature. Aberrations of some kind will always be there. But why healthy human eyes circumvent this issue? Or, are there any aberrations we don't "see?"
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Optics: Derivation of $\vec\nabla{n} = \frac{d(n\hat{u})}{ds}$

I have been given this formula from optics here, with no background: $$\vec\nabla{n} = \frac{d(n\hat{u})}{ds}$$ Where $n$ is the refractive index and $\hat{u}$ is a unit vector tangent to the path ...
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95 views

Determine when a light is going into the object [closed]

Please look at this image: (http://mypages.iit.edu/~smart/acadyear/refract.gif) How can I determine when light is going into the object? Actually, if there is, what is the simplest way to ...
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Good books about waves and optics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s a good textbook to learn about waves and oscillations? Where is a good place to learn (classical) optics? I'm looking for a good book about waves and optics, ...
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777 views

Are holograms like in this video possible?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jfySIeS1XZE#t=118s If so, how are they created (roughly speaking). Earlier in the video he says that a laser scanned the surface of the ...
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480 views

Are circular polarizations a basis for any light polarization?

I was trying to solve an exercise in classical optics, consisting in finding the type polarization of certain field profiles. And, by analyzing this one: $$E_x(z,t) = |E|sin(kz-\omega t)\\ ...
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111 views

Where do the high order rainbows appear?

This site shows locations of the high order rainbows up to sixth order. My thought is that, There should be even higher order bows like 7th, 8th, etc. (Though they would be practically impossible to ...
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135 views

Bandgap Spacing in Photonic Crystals

I am doing some self-study on photonics and have encountered the following question: We know that amorphous electronic crystals such as amorphous silicon have a bandgap. Can amorphous photonic ...
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1answer
253 views

Future space-based telescope array

Radio-telescopes (e.g. the Very Large Array (VLA)) can simulate one gigantic dish by using separate smaller dishes. Q: Could such an array of optical telescopes potentially see an exoplanet at say 20 ...
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Why do green lasers appear brighter and stronger than red and blue lasers?

This is mostly for my own personal illumination, and isn't directly related to any school or work projects. I just picked up a trio of laser pointers (red, green, and blue), and I notice that when I ...
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166 views

Maximum resolution per lens size

This question is more practical than theoretical, but I am interested in the theoretical considerations as well. My wife just bought a Samsung S3 phone with a 8 MP image sensor hiding behind a tiny ...
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1answer
132 views

Ideal four-level Gain Medium (or just any old gain medium)

What exactly is happening in a laser's gain cell when the irradiance is greater than the saturation irradiance? Also can someone offer a clear conceptual treatment of the gain-coefficient and its ...
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136 views

Peak deconvolution [closed]

I need some help understanding how much information I can pull out of this data. I have a sample made up of two materials. Materials A and material B. Then I took a picture of the sample. The two ...
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63 views

Rays in Symmetric Resonator

I'm having some trouble figuring out how to get started on this question: If I have a symmetric resonator with two concave mirrors of radii $R$ separated by a certain distance, after how many round ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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140 views

How does a 2D MEMS based optical cross-connect control its mirrors?

Concerning fiber optics, I'd like to know how a 2D MEMS based optical cross-connect is able to switch optical signals. I've read that these mirrors are controlled with electrical signals to be either ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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} | ...
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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 ...
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1answer
277 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 ...
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3answers
252 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 ...
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1answer
265 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 ...
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188 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 ...
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1answer
114 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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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292 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 ...
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292 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 ...