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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What is the specific meaning of “Fourier frequency” (as opposed to simply “frequency”)?

I've noticed that many journal articles (in optics) use the phrase "Fourier frequency" to describe, well, the frequency of something. Google scholar search for "Fourier frequency". Example: ...
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1answer
470 views

Boundary Conditions Invariant Under Conformal Transformations in Electrostatics?

in two dimensional electrostatics it is assumed that the whole physical system is translationally invariant in one direction. Here, the two-dimensional Laplace equation $$\Delta \phi(x,y) = ...
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768 views

Distance of objects in car mirrors

We've all seen that label on our passenger side mirrors that says, "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." Why is this? Further, why does it only apply to the passenger side mirror, and not ...
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1answer
136 views

Does a slide in a projector act as a diffuser?

I was wondering whether or not a slide in a slide projector acts as light diffuser? So when I have a light source that does not have a parallel beam on the slide can I expect that the other side of ...
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1answer
736 views

Light Energy Absorption In Mirror

Let the amount of energy in one pulse of (laser) light be $E$, and the wavelength be $\lambda$. This pulse goes straight to the mirror, and it is reflected by the mirror. Let the reflectivity of ...
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Do eyeballs exhibit chromatic aberration?

Fairly straightforward question. If not, why not? I suspect that if they do, it is not perceived due to the regions of highest dispersion being in one's region of lowest visual acuity.
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4answers
143 views

Projecting image without manual focussing

I was wondering if it was possible to project a magnified image on a wall without the need of focusing, so just by dimensioning the lenses right. I know I have to use the principal of Maxwellian View ...
6
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2answers
341 views

Is apparent horizon curvature lesser due to refraction of light in the atmosphere?

I have encountered this claim while searching for sources answering " Can we see the curvature of earth from the top of world's tallest building? ". Wikipedia article on horizon claims (with no ...
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0answers
194 views

Refractive index liquids: Why hard to buy? [closed]

Does anyone know the refractive index suppliers? I've found Cargille Labs (which customer service is terrible so far but the liquids may actually be OK), but nothing else comparable. I'd like to have ...
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4answers
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What happens to light in a perfect reflective sphere?

Let's say you have the ability to shine some light into a perfectly round sphere and the sphere's interior surface was perfectly smooth and reflective and there was no way for the light to escape. If ...
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1answer
116 views

Diffraction pattern threshhold

What is the characteristic bump height of periodic grating below which diffraction effect cease to exist (let assume a threshold of peaks to valleys intensity of 20% as the minimum detectable by human ...
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0answers
72 views

Quadrature Separation in Homodyne Detector

I am wondering in Homodyne detector structure with a beamsplitter, why phase of input beam to beamsplitter can be conjugated? I mean for example for an input beam operator b onto the beamsplitter at ...
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1answer
442 views

Mirror “roughness”

In optics one of "diffraction-limited" criteria is wavefront tolerance: a textbook example is is optical system with 1/4 wavelength limits producing image of a point source with 68% of the energy ...
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6answers
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How come an anti-reflective coating makes glass *more* transparent?

The book I'm reading about optics says that an anti-reflective film applied on glass* makes the glass more transparent, because the air→film and film→glass reflected waves (originated from a paraxial ...
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3answers
2k views

Why don't waves with different wavelengths interfere with each other in white-light?

The book I'm reading about optics says at some point that "each color (wavelength) contained in the white light interferes only with itself". But why is this so? Edit: I moved the rest of the ...
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1answer
353 views

Does coverslip thickness matter for high NA oil immersion objectives?

This question is related to Impact of covering glass on lens performance. I use a 63x TIRF objective with a numerical aperture of 1.46 and oil immersion. The immersion oil has an index of ...
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0answers
283 views

What defines the thickness of a Nomarski prism?

Lets say I want to design a Nomarski prism that would split the ordinary and extraordinary beam by an angle of 0.32 mrad. I used a raytracer to find the internal angle between the quartz wedges. ...
5
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2answers
394 views

Photon statistics of an incandescent light source

We usually calibrate the cameras on our microscopes by capturing 20 images of a blurry (not sharp) fluorescent particle. For each pixel in this stack of 20 images we calculate the intensity variance. ...
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5answers
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Why does light reflect more intensely when it hits a surface at a large angle?

I mean, what is happening at a microscopic level to cause this behavior? Here's what I got from Wikipedia: On Reflection (physics)#Reflection of light it says that "solving Maxwell's equations for a ...
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2answers
179 views

Magnification multiplication using telescope arrays?

If we have an array of telescopes attached one after another, would the resultant magnification be multiplied?Also would such a contraption be feasible to make telescopes with amazing magnification?
4
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1answer
191 views

Impact of covering glass on lens performance

I've seen microscope lenses optimized for 0.17mm covering glass. I don't see what needs to be optimized here? As glass does not touch the lens (as in case of oil/water immersion) - it should just ...
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1answer
4k views

What is so good about diffractive optics?

What's so ingenious in diffractive lenses? To my naive eye they seem to be just Fresnel lenses with smaller features. What makes it so magic and why all the fuss about it?
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6answers
1k views

Why aren't there compression waves in electromagnetic fields?

I just started learning about optics, and in the book I'm reading they explain how the electrical field caused by a single charged particle could be described by a series of field lines, and compare ...
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2answers
261 views

Optical distortions and focus losses calculation

I'm working with a megapixel camera and lens that needs to be focused for an OCR application. In order to measure the focus quality during the set-up, I've built a tool that gives the contrast value ...
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3answers
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Batman spotlight in the sky

I have noticed that obstructing a spotlight typically results in a blurred shadow unlike the crisp batman symbol in the comics of batman. Is there a way to create a spotlight with a crisp batman ...
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3answers
2k views

What really cause light/photons to appear slower in media?

I know that if we solve the maxwell equation, we will end up with the phase velocity of light is related to the permeability and the permittivity of the material. But this is not what I'm interested ...
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1answer
156 views

Does 'ring' diaphragm reduce lens spherical abberations?

As I see it, as light comes through approximately same angular area of the lens, it should have less aberrations, and at the same time, it should still have high θ -> diffraction limit should stay as ...
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2answers
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How to find the principal point in an image?

I need to find the principal point in an image. Its a point where the principal axis intersects the image sensor. Due to misalignment this point is not at the center of image always(or image sensor). ...
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2answers
346 views

How to place a mirror parallel to a wall?

For one of my experimental setup I need to place a mirror perfectly parallel to a wall. It can be placed at any distance from the wall. I would like to use any method other than direct measurement. I ...
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2answers
1k views

How do you calculate the intensity of light around the focal point from a focused collimated beam of light?

Problem/Purpose of me asking this question to you people who know more than me: So I'm doing a science project where I'm collimating a beam of light to a focus point in a light medium (water vapor or ...
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1answer
179 views

What software can I use to simulate supersonic gas particle flow? [closed]

Please please help me out with this. I am trying to find a software/program that I could use the simulate the scattering effect of light when it strikes gas particles moving at supersonic speeds? ...
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3answers
1k views

How could I translate a field of view value into a magnification value?

When I zoom in with Stellarium, it indicates a field of view (FOV) value in degrees, but most binoculars and telescopes are advertised with value like "nX magnification power." How could I translate ...
3
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1answer
388 views

Lens design - max lpmm, monochromatic light

How can I approach this task: I need to design diffraction-limited lens for monochromatic light (~1nm line width, so I guess no need to correct chromatic aberrations), geometry aberrations are also ...
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2answers
1k views

Calculating diffraction-limited resolution for a lens setup

Supposed a lens arrangement is prepared where light from an object is collimated, focused and recollimated etc. before entering a CCD array. Given that we can calculate the diffraction-limited ...
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0answers
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What properties of certain plastics make them x-ray transparent? [closed]

I was blown away by the abundance of good info here, and I thought maybe you could help me out with this query. I am in the process of developing a product, and I need to find a clear plastic resin ...
9
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1answer
657 views

Why is the Ritchey–Chrétien telescope preferred in professional astronomy?

Hubble, as well as numerous other professional telescopes, use the Ritchey–Chrétien design. What optical and instrumental advantages does this kind of telescope have for professional astronomy?
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2answers
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intensifying a light source

When trying to intensify a beam of light by refracting it through a lens, (as in a lighthouse fresnel system or similar railroad style switch lamp from years past), is the beam intensity increased by ...
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4answers
650 views

What are the various kinds of Cassegrain telescopes, and what benefits and drawbacks does each have?

Many hobby or amateur telescopes are of the Newtonian design, but most of the professional telescopes that I know about are some kind of Cassegrain (a very specific kind, I believe). In general, ...
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2answers
1k views

Michelson rotating mirror experiment

Could someone explain the calculation required to answer this question. It is from a text book and the answer is recorded as 585Hz but I cannot replicate the answer. In 1931 Michelson used a ...
3
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2answers
224 views

Intrigued about a polarizer effect

This comes from one of my physics course at university (many years ago!), I hope I recall it right. We were studying optics, and were given some polarizer filters to experiment. They were disc- ...
6
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2answers
292 views

What makes a good set of binoculars? [closed]

After trying a bunch of binoculars at Star Parties and the like, I have a pretty good feel for about what aperture and magnification I'd like in a new set binoculars. I'm an eyeglass wearer so a long ...
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3answers
1k views

How to determine what size telescope to buy

A couple of years ago my son showed an interest in astronomy and we bought a 6" reflector telescope. We use it pretty regularly and have enjoyed it immensely. Lately we've both been wishing we had ...
6
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2answers
592 views

Optimal Angular Field of View (AFOV)

Given the rather huge price differences between eye pieces at the same focal length. How exactly does the AFOV affect the view seen through the eyepiece? Are higher / lower AFOV better for certain ...
3
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3answers
4k views

How do laser rangefinders work when the object surface is not perpendicular to the laser beam?

I find the functioning of a laser rangefinder confusing. The explanation usually goes like this: "you shine a laser beam onto the object, the laser beam gets reflected and gets back to the device and ...
7
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1answer
91 views

What is a backlit CCD sensor, and why might I prefer it to other kinds?

I've heard Astronomers talking about backlit CCD sensors, and talking about how much better they are than other types. What are they, why might I want to get one, and what are the pros/cons of this ...
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3answers
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Observing lunar lander and footprints on the moon?

After Apollo 11 first landed on the Moon in 1969, there have been conspiracy theories that this never really happened and that it was all a hoax. In 2010 NASA released photos from its Lunar ...
2
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2answers
58 views

What objects look best in an O-III filter?

I've heard that an O-III (Oxygen III) filter is great for planetary nebulae. Is this true for all planetary nebulae, or just some or most? What other target types are often improved with an O-III ...
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3answers
167 views

Why is M42 red in the pictures, but green when observed at the eyepiece?

I saw magnificent images of the Orion Nebula (M42) in pictures from Wikipedia, However, when observed with a telescope, the nebula appears green hued, and I can't see any of the characteristic red ...
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6answers
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Lenses (refractor) or mirrors (reflector) telescope?

What differentiates, in terms of practical quality, not technical implementation, a refractor from a reflector telescope? Why would one prefer a refractor over a reflector, when reflectors come with ...
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4answers
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What does f/4.6 mean in a telescope and how important is this value? [closed]

In some specifications for telescopes, I saw a value marked as f/4.6. What does it mean exactly, and how important is when it comes to choosing a telescope?