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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How far can you scatter light using a prism?

If I were to scatter light how far do you think it will disperse and what prism is the most effectively scatters light?
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1answer
448 views

time constant for typical fluorescent lights

For a typical flourescent light available in the United States on a a standard 120V 60Hz line, is there information available on the decay time of the light? For example, if I am running the light a ...
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2answers
79 views

Brewster angle with diffraction propagation?

Diffraction theory is scalar. How you deal with beam propagation in fourier optics that is sensitive to the to the polarization? If I have linearly polarized gaussian beam incident on glass surface, ...
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1answer
259 views

Distinction between Larmor frequency and Rabi frequency

Wikipedia said "In the context of a nuclear magnetic resonance experiment, the Rabi frequency is the nutation frequency of a sample's net nuclear magnetization vector about a radiofrequency field. ...
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3answers
239 views

Four questions on color

First, I apologize for being a mathematician and having no scientific background in physics. The following questions on color came up in a discussion at lunch and I would be very happy to get some ...
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1answer
752 views

Compound microscope vs astronomical telescope

In compound microscope, we take such an objective lens which has small focal length. While in astronomical telescope, we take such an objective lens which has large focal length. Why don't we use ...
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0answers
301 views

How to calculate the helicity of polarized light?

At first, I used to think that only circular polarized light has non-zero helicity, linear polarized light has zero helicity, because the linear polarization can be seperated as the superposition of ...
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1answer
432 views

How mirror equation can explain farsightedness correction?

I have a friend who has just show me his medical prescription for hyperopia (farsightedness) correction and he needs glasses with 4,25 diopters for that, which seemed to be weird for me because I had ...
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3answers
584 views

Why does light diffract only through slits?

We can see diffraction of light if we allow light to pass through a slit, but why doesn't diffraction occur if we obstruct light using some other object, say a block? Why are shadows formed? Why ...
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1answer
410 views

electric field of unpolarized light after reflect?

Reflection and transmission (Fresnel equation) of polarized light are treated in many optics or electromagnetism books. If $E_s$ and $E_p$ is incident electric field with s-polarization and ...
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1answer
3k views

Radius of curvature of lens: Newtons Ring method vs spherometer

I have to do an experiment to find out the radius of curvature of a lens using the Newtons ring method given that you know the wavelength of the monochromatic light used in the experiment. What the ...
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1answer
194 views

Why does a stack of transparencies appear white when a single sheet is clear?

My daughter and I found a box of old transparencies (clear plastic sheets) and something struck me as odd: even though each transparency is clear, the whole stack of transparencies looks whitish - why ...
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1answer
43 views

Full refraction in fibre optics

Well in a problem I had to calculate the maximum amount of "reflections" in a glass fibre optic pipe (index of refraction = 1.3, width of 20 micrometer and length of 1 meter). I am a bit blocked on ...
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1answer
1k views

Magnifying factors of multiple lenses (closely packed)

Well the following question I really struggle to find an answer A thin lens creates an image of an object with magnification -3. A second identical lens is positioned very close to the first ...
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0answers
233 views

Suntan: UV absorption vs daytime

I guess that these questions were being asked by many people on the Northern Hemisphere during this summer (and other summers) and someone may give a nice, coherent answer. The general question is how ...
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1answer
745 views

Why does a white object lit by a blue light cast an orange shadow?

I was reading this blog post: http://ianstormtaylor.com/design-tip-never-use-black/ Which phenomenon explains this: But I must have been thinking the same thing, because one of those days in art ...
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1answer
103 views

Is diffraction through an aperture similar to diffraction by a plane of atoms?

I'm asking because I have a problem asking me what the diffraction pattern would be if instead of spherical atoms I'd have triangular atoms. I can't find anything about this in my X-ray diffraction ...
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0answers
111 views

C Method for Diffraction grating

Alright, so I am trying to find the efficiencies of a coated diffraction grating through the method in this paper. This is through a change of coordinate system. So I went through and derived all of ...
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0answers
140 views

Determing aperture size for space-based-solar-power laser transmitter

I have hit a bit of a roadblock in my simulation. In the equation I require the aperture size for the laser source. $$I_a ≈ \frac{\lambda d}{A}$$ $I_a$ = aperture atop the atmosphere ($m$) ...
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0answers
26 views

What are physical effects that could be employed to emulate this system?

This is a simple system consisting of a tree of numbers such as ((1 2 (3 4)) (2 6) 1 6) and a rule of application, that states that a tree A applied to B is a copy ...
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1answer
331 views

Diffraction Gratings

Is it possible to use the sawtooth shape diffraction grating instead of rectangular grating if yes then which parameters will affect at the output ? Secondly, what is special in blaze grating ...
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2answers
82 views

Ultrafast Lasers

Is the main idea of femtosecond or attosecond lasers is to achieve the high energy or do we have any other parameters achieved by ultra-fast lasers ?
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0answers
31 views

Optics of a rotated spectacle lens [duplicate]

I have just discovered that if I rotate my left spectacle lens about the vertical axis by 10 degrees in one direction, the vision in that eye becomes much crisper. Note that the sphere and cylinder ...
3
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1answer
305 views

Rayleigh scattering in three dimensions

How does the Rayleigh scattering intensity depend on the polarization angle of the incident, linearly polarized light, and the observation angle in three dimensions?
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1answer
170 views

Light entering in a 0° angle, is there any reflection?

Is there any reflection of light that enters a new medium at a 0° angle, if the electric field is such, that it is completely in the plane of the double layer?
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2answers
337 views

What is the meaning of “CW” in LASER?

I am reading a user's manual, and the word appears here. At first, I think "CW" means "center wave". But later, I find that the meaning of "CW" is "continuous wave". It makes me confused. ...
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1answer
124 views

Why does static electricity not make a charged body reflective?

If mirrors work by deflecting photons by free electrons in surface layer of mirror, so it could be possible to take a glass pane and provide it with extra free electrons by giving it massive static ...
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2answers
296 views

Shape of the rainbow

I have watched Walter Lewin's lecture(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QVbE_tU2sA) which was about the rainbows. But there is still a question bothering me. I understood the first part of the ...
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0answers
65 views

Is there spatial data loss in light passing through transparent crystal?

There is perfect parallelepipedal bar made of transparent crystal with cubic lattice floating in vacuum. Faces of parallelepiped are parallel to lattice axis. There is image, forming checkerboard ...
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1answer
103 views

Is there any optical phenomenon can't be explained without magnetic field?

Almost all optical phenomenon can be explained considering a fluctuating electric field. Is there any optical phenomenon which can't be explained without considering two fluctuating fields, electric ...
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1answer
4k views

Minimum height of mirror required to view image

I wanted to know the minimum height of mirror required to be able to view a complete image of a person. I considered the following setup: $HF$ is the person in question. $H$ denotes the head, $F$ ...
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1answer
99 views

Vibrations after polarization of light

When we polarize a light, do we get electric vibrations, magnetic vibrations or the mixture of both. If both, then how can both electric and magnetic vibrations occur in single plane because ...
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6answers
11k views

Why are most metals gray/silver?

Why do most metals (iron, tin, aluminum, lead, zinc, tungsten, nickel, etc.) appear silver or gray in color? (What atomic characteristics determine the color?) What makes copper and gold have ...
4
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3answers
242 views

Fourier transform of two pulses of light

I have laser beam path that fires two pulses of light in a gaussian distribution, so the intensity graph over time is two identical gaussians separated by a distance $t_0$. In other words, a gaussian ...
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2answers
1k views

Slowing down light in an opaque crystal for a whole minute

I just read about a team of physicists at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, that managed to completely slow down a beam of light that traveled through an opaque crystal (article here). How is it ...
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4answers
678 views

Blocking an IR camera [closed]

What kind of material would be best to block an IR camera? Would Silicon work? (e.g the Silicon typically used in iPhone cases) Rather than covering the object/subject, I'm interested in fully ...
3
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0answers
371 views

Pockels effect/Kerr effect

In Pockels electro-optic effect, change in Electric field produces change in refractive index/ birefringence. Moreover this effect becomes electric field squared in the case of Kerr effect. If we ...
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1answer
253 views

GHz rate single photon counting

The fluorescent lifetimes of molecules used in biological applications tend to be in the sub-ns to a few ns timescale (let's say 0.8-4). The most direct methods to measure lifetimes typically involve ...
3
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1answer
67 views

Silicon Laser and Laser mirrors

If I will place Silicon as the active medium to create a Silicon Laser. Why I cannot achieve Lasing ? secondly, why do we always consider Laser mirrors in an standing position along the optical axis ...
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2answers
461 views

Converting indices of refraction

If I know that the index of refraction of a given substance is 1.4 for the average wavelength (say 550 nm), and I would like to know what is the index of refraction with a wavelength of 832 nm, how ...
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1answer
127 views

Laser Transverse/Longitudnal Modes

When we say Laser transverse modes. Is that mean what we will get at the output spot of laser beam ? secondly In practice , what TEM01 or TEMnm means ?
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3answers
2k views

Lasing in a 2-Level system?

What exactly is the difference between 2-Level, 3-Level and 4-Level systems? Why can we not achieve stimulated emission in a two-level system using optical pumping?
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3answers
232 views

Stimulated Emission

In the case of stimulated emission we always see that one photon goes into the gain medium and two photons come out. How can this conserve energy?
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0answers
87 views

Collimating and homogenizing a divergent tunable-spectrum light source

I have a light source (Xenon lamp) which has the possibility to be tuned over spectral range of 390 - 740 nm with 1 nm spectral accuracy . Bandwidth at each wavelength is about 20 nm . Output ...
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1answer
97 views

What is the optical illusion called where our sun seems to disappear from view and then rise on the third day? And where can it be viewed from?

What is the optical illusion called where our sun seems to disappear for 3 days and then rise again into view on the third day? And where can it be viewed from?
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1answer
225 views

Distance of image from concave mirror

A concave mirror of focal length $8cm$ forms an inverted image of an object placed at a certain distance. If the image is twice as large as the object, what is the distance of the object and the image ...
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1answer
70 views

Understanding a paper: What is the meaning of $b_0$?

I am looking at this paper (Multicoated gratings, J. Opt. Soc. Am., 1981) and I am getting confused around equation 22. I do not completely understand where he comes up with the equation ...
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7answers
1k views

Are quantum effects significant in lens design?

Over on Photography, a question was asked as to why (camera) lenses are always cylindrical. Paraphrasing slightly, one of the answers and follow-up comments asserted that quantum effects are ...
6
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1answer
6k views

Why does the refractive index depend on wavelength? [duplicate]

Why do different wavelength get impeded more or less when in different materials? Moving with the same speed, but a longer physical distance would imply that the fields oscillate less times in the ...
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5answers
5k views

Why do nearsighted people see better with their glasses *rotated*?

If you are nearsighted (like me), you may have noticed that if you tilt your glasses, you can see distant objects more clear than with normally-positioned glasses. If you already see completely clear, ...