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 to calculate the temperature of a receiving point from concentrated solar power?

I'm exploring a DIY project about solar power and have found very few resources that can explain, in a not too simple but not too advanced way, how to go about calculating important values in solar ...
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350 views

how does phase-shifting principle in interferometry work?

I have been using the coherence scanning interferometry (or also known as white light scanner), where it collects images containing the fringes. The system is able to produce the depth profile for one ...
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183 views

Is it possible to calculate the work function of a metal with basic lab equipment?

ive been given a problem in physics, its to prove if a lump of metal we have been given is real gold or not. one way to to do it would be to work out its density, which is fairly easy, mass/volume. ...
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186 views

Intensity loss due to vignetting

I was trying to get an expression for the loss of intensity due to vignetting in a simple optical system, and got a fairly complex integral. I was wondering if there's an easier way, or any book that ...
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1answer
216 views

Nonlinear absorption coefficient and the band gap

How does the nonlinear absorption coefficient depend on the band gap? How can that coefficient be calculated theoretically? (Preferably with an example)
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1answer
217 views

What sets the resolution on analog film?

When taking a picture with old fashioned film what sets the resolution of the picture? Is it the wavelength, or the chemical makeup of the film?
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71 views

Operator norm directly from phase space representation of photonic quantum operator

I'm interested in calculating the operator norm of a Hermitian operator, say $B$, acting on the Hilbert space of square integrable functions. The context is I have an optical system in all its ...
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1answer
323 views

Transparent boundary condition [closed]

I am interested in the finite-difference beam propagation method and its applications. I try to solve the Helmholtz equation. At first, i would like to solve numerically it for the easiest case, ...
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1answer
163 views

Reflected optical rotation of polarised light

Assume polarised light travels through an optically active medium (e.g. water with lots of sugar) with the specific angle $\alpha_s$ of depth $d$ at which end it is reflected (so in total it travels ...
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2answers
248 views

What is deep Fresnel region?

If I understand correctly, it has something to do with autocorrelation function, but can someone give me a definition or exact explanation? In case of scattering, if you wish to analyze pattern with ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do mirages only appear on hot days?

A previous question asked why the road sometimes appears wet on hot days. The reason is that when there's a temperature gradient in the air, it causes a gradient in the index of refraction, causing ...
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1answer
881 views

How to turn water opaque by pouring the smallest quantity of matter into it? [closed]

Consider a glass of water and a glass of coffee. Their contents differ by no more than a few grams of particles coming from the roasted and ground coffee, yet the former lets almost all visible light ...
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3answers
293 views

mirror house gedanken experiment

Imagine a mirror house i.e. completely made of mirror with no traces of whatsoever light absorbent. Now, you introduce a light beam into that room and observe somehow through a hole. Would the room ...
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1answer
481 views

Compound lenses and virtual images

Ok so I have this problem where I have a system of two lenses. All I know is that the distance between the object and the first lens is 30cm, the distance between the object and the final image is ...
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2answers
181 views

What shape is formed by the set of all raindrops which create a rainbow to specific observer?

What shape is formed by the set of all raindrops which create a rainbow to specific observer? Maybe it's easier to narrow this down and consider it this in parts: what's the set of positions from ...
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1answer
221 views

what is the probability distribution for the angle of an approximate laserbeam

I'm trying to simulate the light distribution characteristics from a Gaussian laser beam, but having difficulty with the angular distribution. I need to generate a large number of points on an x/y ...
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1answer
887 views

Nonlinear polarization (second and third order)

Why does second order nonlinear polarization occur only in crystal materials with a non-centrosymmetric crystal structure? (Nonlinear effects at crystal surfaces are an exception). Why does third ...
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1answer
65 views

Linearizing Quantum Operators [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Linearizing Quantum Operators I was reading an article on harmonic generation and came across the following way of decomposing the photon field operator. $$ ...
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1answer
115 views

How does holographic voxel density scale with holographic film metrics?

I'm trying to understand how one can generate bounds on the effective number of voxels (volumetric pixels) in a hologram, or information density, provided various metrics for the two-dimensional ...
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632 views

How to use the Coddington shape factor?

We are given $\sigma=\frac{r2+r1}{r2-r1}$, with $\sigma$ being the Coddington shape factor. What I am having problems with is solving for $r1$ and $r2$ when I am just given a focal length and a ...
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442 views

why isn't the variance of Fano noise proportional to the number of photon arrivals?

I've been reading "Photon Transfer" by James Janesick and in Chapter 3 (http://spie.org/samples/PM170.pdf) he describes the various sources of noise in a CCD. Basically, incoming photons interact with ...
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1answer
404 views

Why does the speed of light within a solid depend on frequency?

Different frequencies of light travel at different speeds through solids, which along with Snell's law allows for rainbows. Has this phenomenon of variable speeds been predicted through derivations? ...
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80 views

Optics: finding total power of a syste, including wavelength

Specifically I need to create an ABCD matrix given 2 radii of curvatures, the thickness of the lens, type of glass (BK7) and a given wavelength. I will have to figure this out eventually, so help ...
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1answer
226 views

Extra help in Optics

I am in an optics class, and we are using the text "Introduction to Optics" third edition by Pedrotti. The book is completely useless in the course. The questions in the review section of the chapter ...
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4answers
334 views

How are we able to view an object in a room with bulb..?

This is a very basic question on optics. How are we able to view an object kept in a room with a bulb? From what I understand, light rays from bulb will hit the object and some colour will be ...
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1answer
512 views

How to set up a very simple experiment in optics?

This might come across as a very rudimentary question. My fundamentals of Optics are weak. In the optics chapter of my physics text book I saw diagrams each depicting an object on the left and a lens ...
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2answers
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How do Optically Active Compounds Rotate Plane Polarized Light?

I am not sure if this is more of a Chemistry or a Physics question, but in my Organic Chem class we discussed that chiral molecules will rotate plane polarized light. However, my professor did not ...
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521 views

Numerical software to manipulate a light beam in its plane wave representation?

Any light field can be expressed as a sum of plane waves. Such an ensemble of plane waves is called the plane wave spectrum of the light field. The plane wave spectrum is the Fourier transform of the ...
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A telescope with a bunch of small mirrors

Together with colleagues we got this question. Imagine to take small mirrors, the size for example of a dentist mirror, and stick them to a wooden frame with a parabolic shape. Each mirror is flat, ...
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1answer
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Effects of high frequency lighting on human vision?

I have a couple of different LED flashlights. One of them has three different "modes" of brightness, and the way it controls it is via pulse width modulation (PWM). Here is a picture that illustrates ...
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1answer
446 views

Which device amplifies the optical signal in fiber optics?

My teacher ask me one question. How the optical signal or information was transfered in fiber optics communication? Then i explained it and use the word optical amplifier then teacher ask me what is ...
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2answers
165 views

Is the Sun-set and the Sun-rise Symmetrical for the Observer?

Is there the effect of sun rising and sun setting, in terms of Rayleigh scattering and visual spectrum and other factors completely similar and symmetric? I mean can one recognise them from a picture ...
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1answer
367 views

The further the focal length, would more or less be projected in the image?

When the focal length of a camera gets further, the object projected on the image gets larger. But would more or less of the object be projected on the image? I know the answer is that less of the ...
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1answer
346 views

How to determine the required resolution to view an image at a certain size?

If I have several camera specifics, can I determine the required resolution to view an image at the size I want? For example, let's say I want a picture of a square painting to be at least ...
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138 views

FOV reduction with Fresnel

I have a simple optical system that works based on energy collection. (i.e. I have a photo diode that counts photons). I don't do any imaging. For my application, I need to have a specific FOV and I ...
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Why are color values stored as Red, Green, Blue?

I learned in elementary school that you could get green by mixing blue with yellow. ...
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Theoretical penetration limit for evanescent waves

Consider a problem in classical electrodynamics, when a monochromatic beam experiences total internal refraction when traveling from a medium with $n>1$ to a medium with refractive index $1$ - see ...
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6answers
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Focal Point vs where you see the images

I am trying to figure out where is the focal point and where is the image. I read some information online about the point where you see the image is the focal point, but however, my supervisor ...
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1answer
356 views

Plenoptic camera and display

This is a two part question about the technology described here: Lytro's light field camera lets you choose focus later I'd love to get an explanation of the technology. What is the ...
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1answer
430 views

simple test/measurement to quantify water opacity

I am performing some measurements on liquid surfaces and I want to quantify how these mesures depend on the liquid opacity by performing it with different concentrations of colorant. To allow ...
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4answers
3k views

Focusing light into an optical fiber cable

I'm trying to focus light from a flashing light lamp throught two lens into a optical fiber cable which is around 0.8cm in diameter. flashing light: a bulb and then covered by a glass of 7.5cm x 7cm ...
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1answer
1k views

Diffraction through one slit?

When Thomas Young first conducted his double slit experiment to prove the wave nature of light, he shone light through two slits, creating an interference pattern. Apparently he then covered up one ...
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642 views

total intensity measurement (of the whole visible light spectrum; from 400 - 800 nm) with a powermeter PM100?

I was using a power meter PM100, with a Si-photodiode sensor head, to measure the intensity of the white light source (250 W quartz halogen lamp). I have recorded the power, shown by the sensor, by ...
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4answers
192 views

Rainbow around Sun

From the perspective of a person, a rainbow is formed when the Sun is behind the person, and there is a critical angle made by the rainbow. However, on several occasions, usually at noon when the Sun ...
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2answers
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What are the differences in using an eyepiece with a barlow instead of a shorter eyepiece?

I intend to start making visual observations, and I want to know more about the difference between using barlow lenses and one or two eyepieces and using a complete kit of eyepieces, both for ...
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5answers
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How does gravitational lensing account for Einstein's Cross?

Einstein's Cross has been attributed to gravitational lensing. However, most examples of gravitational lensing are crescents known as Einstein's rings. I can easily understand the rings and crescents, ...
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2answers
371 views

Air vs Glass refraction coefficient

I have a rather strange question, let's say I can play with the temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions in a sealed room. What will I need to do to make the air's refraction coefficient ...
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1answer
430 views

Question about Rayleigh scattering

To quote from Wikipedia on elastic scattering, "In this scattering process, the energy (and therefore the wavelength) of the incident photon is conserved and only its direction is changed." How does ...
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1answer
618 views

What does the Rayleigh Phase Function tell us

I am working on some radiative transfer equations, and struggling as I'm fairly new to this field. I have read about the Rayleigh Phase Function which is: $P(\theta) = \frac{3}{4}(1 + cos^2 \theta)$ ...
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4answers
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How far would you need to displace your eyes to get meaningful depth perception of the stars?

The question follows from xkcd cartoon "Depth Perception (941)". I've isolated the frames that describe the concept here. In words, one could theoretically point two cameras at the sky, and ...