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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Can light be canceled by merging with an inverted wave?

Can light waves be canceled by merging them with their inverted waves? Seems like it would violate conservation of energy but waves are added together when they overlap, right? Where is the flaw in ...
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228 views

How would one generate Brownian light? What would it look like?

When light is an equal mix of all visible frequencies, we call it white light. By analogy, sound that is a mix of all audible frequencies is called white noise. For sound, there is an additional ...
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641 views

Jones vector and matrices

With Jones vectors and matrices one can describe the change in polarization of a EM wave. What is the convention of the reference coordinate system; Is it fixed or does it change whenever the ...
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1answer
351 views

Thin lens formulae

Hi I have a question about applying the thin lens formula $$ \frac{n_1}{s_o} + \frac{n_2}{s_i} = \frac{n_2 - n_1}{R} \,\text{thin lens formula}$$ for a single lens emerged in medium $n_2$ in the ...
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2answers
229 views

Ideal distance of eye from a lens

I observed that when I keep constant distance between object and lens but I move my eye, I get different magnification. When I am closer to lens I can see large image of the object. But if I go away ...
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2answers
757 views

Circular polarization of variable-frequency light by 3D cinema glasses

A dominant method to obtain 3D images in the cinemas seems to be circular polarization. Separate pictures are projected with (alternating) circular polarization filters and passive glasses of the ...
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2answers
3k views

laser pointer class III and potential eye damage

We just bought a green laser pointer on Ebay and had a discussion about the safety. The laser is low end chinese one (5 USD, free shipping :-) ) and the seller says this: Green Laser Pointer Point ...
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2answers
1k views

Why doesn't my pinhole camera work?

We all know that light travels in straight a line, which can be proved by pinhole imaging as in the picture shown : But when I'm doing this little experiment with an apple, no matter how I change ...
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1answer
750 views

What is the cause of orange sky glow?

I live in the Netherlands and recently I have been seeing an orange glow in the sky at night, in the northwestern direction. What is the cause of this? And why is it in the northwestern direction (I ...
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2answers
158 views

Why does the shadow of the hairs on my leg seemingly only appear when the leg is moving slowly?

I happened to notice the shadow of my legs in the sunlight on the floor and I noticed that I could see the shadow of the hairs on my legs only when I moved my leg slowly (slowly moving onto my toes ...
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2answers
557 views

Goldfish perspective

What does the world look like from the Goldfish point of view, from inside a spherical aquarium? If our eyes were inside, would we be able to see the straight lines, focus on different objects and ...
2
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1answer
679 views

What's the difference between photoelastic constant, photoelastic coefficient and the acousto-optic coefficient

I'm reading a few papers about how the optical properties of materials change when a under stress or a force acts upon them. I seem to be encountering the following three terms: Photoelastic ...
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1answer
322 views

Kiessig fringes

I have come across many papers but still couldn't find the relationship between index of refraction or atomic scattering factors, and reflectivity. My flow of thought goes as follows: Get the ...
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2answers
3k views

How do head mounted displays simulate infinite focus?

First, when I say infinite focus, I am using the term from photography, perhaps incorrectly. Secondly, I believe am not talking about convergence, but about focus. If I am not mistaken, with ...
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3answers
368 views

Counterpropagating beams in a ring cavity lasers

Ring cavity lasers usually has a intracavity element like a optical diode to forbid standing wave pattern and, consequently, spacial hole burning and related instabilities. So, my question is: why to ...
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0answers
244 views

How to calculate radiative transition rate of exciton in a quantum dot with specific dimension?

I am writing rate equations for a nanophotonic system including three quantum dots. I need to calculate that radiative transition rates of exciton in ground state in those quantum dots. In the paper ...
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2answers
334 views

Wavelength comparison of two waves

Is there any non-digital (naturally existing) mechanism to compare two or more waves in such a way: ...
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1answer
361 views

Correcting for bad eyesight on display monitors [duplicate]

I think it would be neat if one could configure one's eyesight parameters (astigmatism and myopia in my case), viewing distance, and perhaps age into a special display driver, such that a computer ...
5
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1answer
364 views

Do wide-angle videos make the first-person view seem slower than perceived in real life?

I considered posting this on other SE sites such as Audio-Video Production and Photography, but I didn't feel I'd get the definitive, fact-based (rather than experience-based) answer I'm seeking. ...
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7answers
573 views

Optical equivalent of a superconductor

Is there some material state that can propagate light indefinitely without dissipation or absorption, like superconductors are able to transmit current indefinitely? If not, then the question is, why ...
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3answers
1k views

How do “holographic plates” work?

I asked a question about laser stage lighting over at Audio Video Production, and received an excellent answer that explained that laser clusters are generated from a single beam via something called ...
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1answer
138 views

Does light shine better through a matt surface or a glossy surface?

I am currently designing a lighting solution for Phillips as part of my university degree. However I am stuck on a small problem, as stated above. If I was to have a strip of perspex, with the sides ...
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0answers
406 views

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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2answers
410 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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1answer
629 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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1answer
136 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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1answer
1k 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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1answer
440 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
195 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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1answer
1k 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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0answers
90 views

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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1answer
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 ...
3
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1answer
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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1answer
310 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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2answers
284 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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348 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
89 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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2answers
108 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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1answer
662 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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0answers
276 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 ...
2
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3answers
636 views

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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1answer
458 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 ...
4
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1answer
90 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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3answers
162 views

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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1answer
99 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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3answers
1k views

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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2answers
963 views

Are holograms like in this video possible? [duplicate]

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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1answer
551 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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1answer
115 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 ...