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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Topological phase in Laguerre-Gaussian transverse mode

Why is the topological phase in a Laguerre-Gaussian transverse mode is the sum of orbital angular momenta per photon, and why is it quantized?
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3answers
128 views

Duality behavior of light and effect of system scale on its behavior [closed]

Does an electromagnetic wave that makes by antenna behaves purely as wave for all the times? or it can change its behavior as photon? and does the scale of system effect on behaving as EM wave or ...
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2answers
279 views

What makes a material a good lens for CO2 lasers?

I read on Wikipedia that zinc selenide and germanium make good lenses for $\mathrm{CO}_2$ lasers. My question is, Why?
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3answers
162 views

In what applications are lasers necessary vs. just convenient?

I’m trying to understand, given the wide array of current laser applications: Which applications actually require laser characteristics, as opposed to just use lasers because they are the most ...
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1answer
298 views

Help calculating field of view for ball lens I just bought

I have a 5 mm (diameter) solid ball lens that I intend to place in front of a 36mm X 24mm camera sensor (I have already made preparations for the image to be focused and for the sensor to not be ...
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1answer
49 views

Learning material on optical computing

I'm looking for guidance to choose material for a self-study of photonics, biased towards optical computing recent advances. My background is of undergraduate level electrodynamics, quantum ...
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7answers
19k views

How does light bend around my finger tip?

When I close one eye and put the tip of my finger near my open eye, it seems as if the light from the background image bends around my finger slightly, warping the image near the edges of my blurry ...
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2answers
475 views

Anodized aluminium reflectivity at 10.6 um

I wonder how I can model anodized aluminium reflectivity in ray tracing-based optical simulation. I know that the parts my company is using are anodized to get covered with a ~20 um (as specified) ...
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2answers
738 views

Why does sunset over a body of water cause a path of light stretching towards the horizon?

Have you ever notice the sunset's image in the sea? It's like long light path to the end of the horizon! I've attached a sample of this: How can we explain this? I know that it can happen even in ...
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1answer
111 views

Yet another Young Double Slit Experiment

If I have a laser light incident on the double slit at an angle O < 90 what kind of interference pattern will I see? Will i see the same with less intensity or different pattern?
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3answers
4k views

What happens to the index of refraction of a lens if placed in water?

What happens to the index of refraction and focal length of a lens that is initially in air that is then placed in water?
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1answer
345 views

Diver view of refraction

I'm studying the refraction in optics. If a red light monocromatic beam of red light (700 nm) passes from air to water it becomes with a wavelenght of aprox 526 nm. So, my question is: How is going ...
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1answer
44 views

optics biconvex and plano convex

What is the resultant focal length If a biconvex lens is cut into half and then the resulting 2 plano-convex lens arranged in such a way that the plane surface of one faces the curved surface of the ...
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2answers
103 views

Correlation between color of light visible to us and the intensity of transmitted light by the material

I wanted to know if there is any relation between the color of light observed by the eye and the intensity of light transmitted by a material. Let us assume that I have a table of intensities of light ...
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0answers
68 views

Beamsplitter and Dielectric Mirror

Among two optical components. One is a Nd:YAG Laser 50/50 Beamsplitter and the second one is a Dielectric Mirror see pictures. Both of them almost looks like the same. If the specification is not ...
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2answers
330 views

Spatial and Temporal Coherence

How is it possible to achieve waves which are spatially, but not temporally, coherent? Can this be done with a bandpass filter? Conversely, how is it possible to achieve waves which are temporally, ...
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5answers
87 views

Fate of light ray

This question has been on my mind since I first learned optics. Where will the light ray go? First, I thought of it taking a U turn. But, I don't think that will happen. Now I have studied a bit ...
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2answers
97 views

How am I able to tell whether it is dark or not while eyes closed? [closed]

How am I able to tell whether there is a light on in front of me even with my eyes closed? The usual darkness whilst eyes closed transforms into a not so bright glow when my closed eyes are in front ...
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2answers
266 views

Plano-convex lenses

When the spherical side of a planoconvex lens is towards the source we will see reduced aberrations normally we use it for the beam collimation. When we use two planoconvex lenses configuration why we ...
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2answers
138 views

Layer thickness measurement

I am interested to measure the thickness of the coating on a mirror (e.g. in the picture below). What are the available and best way of measuring it? What will be the solution in case of multiple ...
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1answer
97 views

What is $\epsilon_\infty$ in this equation and why can it be neglected in the IR?

I'm reading this paper (warning, PDF) and they mention that the complex permittivity $\epsilon$ and complex conductivity $\sigma$ are related through the equation $$\epsilon - \epsilon_\infty = (4\pi ...
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1answer
50 views

Does bragg diffraction affect intensity of transmitted light?

Is it possible to measure the plane spacing in a crystal by measuring the angle at which transmitted light intensity dips?
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3answers
1k views

Why use lasers for intense, localized heat instead of some other light source?

Lasers are used in various industrial processes that need intense, localised, heat (3d printers and laser cutters come to mind). My question is: why use lasers? There are many other (cheaper, ...
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2answers
799 views

Passing Polarized light through multiple polarizers in series

This is a question that has been troubling me from many days: Suppose we pass a linearly polarized light through a system of 3 successive polarizers. The 1st polarizer is offset 30$^{\circ}$ from the ...
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1answer
176 views

simple question about collimating lens

Let me preface this by saying that I have a very limited knowledge of optics -- basically, I know enough to be dangerous. So I have a square Fresnel lens that measures about 10.5 inches on a side. The ...
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1answer
71 views

How is “Band Intensity” related to absorption coefficient

I am interested in the linear absorption of 762nm light near a transition of molecular oxygen. I need to find some experimental numbers that will tell us how far the 762nm light will propagate before ...
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0answers
146 views

How do RGB colors work? [duplicate]

They say that all colors can be formed by mixing Red, Green, and Blue appropriately. Is it true? Isn't the Fourier basis infinite dimensional? Or does it turn out to be the case that only three ...
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1answer
500 views

Fraunhofer Diffraction using lenses [duplicate]

I've come across a question that I don't know how to tackle: An alternative way of observing Fraunhofer diffraction uses lenses to provide appropriate conditions. Sketch an optical configuration ...
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1answer
138 views

Why exactly are images formed by lenses/mirrors?

I just don't get the concept behind why a lens or a mirror forms a reproduction of the object at present. Is it to do with the object blocking parts of the light source? I just don't understand why an ...
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1answer
272 views

Reconciling total internal reflection and the evanescent Wave

I understand that light is guided in a dielectric waveguide via total internal reflection. My question is regarding the origin of power contained in the evanescent field traveling along the direction ...
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3answers
362 views

Why can colors be mixed? [duplicate]

We can combine colored light, creating other colors, at least in terms of visual perception. But how it the result physically "a different color" - if it is at all? Or is all this not a physical ...
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0answers
16 views

Can a $TEM_{00}$ beam incident on a confocal cavity along its optical axis excite modes other than $TEM_{00}$ in the cavity?

Can a $TEM_{00}$ beam incident on a confocal cavity along its optical axis excite modes other than $TEM_{00}$ in the cavity? If not, is the FSR of the confocal cavity $\frac{c}{2L}$ in this case, ...
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0answers
458 views

What is the effect of total internal reflection on polarized light [closed]

Total Internal Reflection causes phase change of a light beam. I searched for effect on a polarized light beam by Total Internal Reflection but could not find much. I am assuming polarization does not ...
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2answers
2k views

How car headlight works?

There are two headlight of car. One having a light bulb between two concave mirrors (one mirror behind and other infront of bulb), and the other type of light only have one concave mirror behind the ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do we see laser beams?

A laser produces a coherent beam of photons with particular $\mathbf{k}$ and $\mathbf{\omega}$. So, if there is no particular $\mathbf{k}_0$ directed toward our eyes, why do we see laser beams? I ...
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2answers
328 views

Imaginary number for extinction coefficient in complex refractive index

In complex refractive index on a material, $n=n'+ ik$, the imaginary part $k$ is physical meaning, as it shows absorption in the material but it is an imaginary. How we measure an imaginary values in ...
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0answers
117 views

Resonance condition in confocal cavity

In a confocal cavity, a beam traverses the length of the resonator 4 times between two transmissions along the same ray. . For example, in the above figure, path difference between two beams that ...
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1answer
349 views

Are Verdet Constants Temperature Dependent?

The Verdet constant of a magneto-optical material shows up in the calculation of the rotation of polarized light in a medium submerged in a magnetic field. The amount of rotation is given by $$ ...
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1answer
70 views

Why do the RGB gamut vertexes not intersect the edges of human vision on the CIExy plot?

As I understand, the CIExy graphic maps "greenness", or rather middle-wavelengthness, to the Y axis and "redness", or rather long-wavelengtsness, to the X axis. The trapping used to reduce the 3d ...
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1answer
91 views

Does ordinary refraction exert a couple on the refracting medium?

Refraction gives rise to a momentum change orthogonal to the propagation direction. This must result in an equal and opposite change to the medium at the boundary. Entry and exit cancel, and the ...
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1answer
185 views

Negative radiation pressure from negative refractive index?

I see this claim being originally made by Vesselago (the discoverer of the principles of metamaterials) and indeed in contemporary papers. It means that such a metamaterial would be pulled towards its ...
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0answers
88 views

Fraunhofer Diffraction [closed]

A 1-dimensional aperture is illuminated by a parallel beam of light of wavelength $\lambda$ and the diffraction pattern is viewed on a distance screen. Show that the amplitude of the diffraction ...
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4answers
571 views

What's the difference between Raman scattering and second harmonic generation in crystal?

As far as I know, the Raman scattering is from the stokes and anti-stokes scattering that the laser light interact with molecular vibrations. So we know that ""laser light interact with molecular ...
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0answers
379 views

Difference between the increase in optical path due to refraction and that due to reflection

If we place two glass plates of refractive index n and each having thickness t,on the way of a light ray the increase in optical path becomes (S2P-S1P)=2(n-1)t due to refraction through them,and the ...
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0answers
38 views

Optical brightener in plastics? [closed]

Is there any way to add some type of 'optical brightener' to a PC+ABS molded part? I'm looking for something that will not affect the color / gloss. Ideally it will be a material that can be added ...
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1answer
543 views

What is fidelity in experimental QM?

I often comer across the term high fidelity in QM papers. Does fidelity imply ratio of entangled photons / total photons? Is there some other metric to measure how good the source is?
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1answer
867 views

The skin effect and the reflectivity of gold

I am simulating a waveguide in COMSOL, a FEM solver. My model looks like this (it is similar to a standard Quantum Cascade Laser geometry): Therefore there is a very thin (30nm) layer of gold ...
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2answers
223 views

Alternate Young double slit experiment

What will happen in Young's double slit experiment, when instead of screen I put a black screen with a hole and a second screen behind the black one. Will it still form interference pattern albeit a ...
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2answers
618 views

Why must an integrating sphere be a sphere?

Why must an integrating sphere be a sphere? Why can't it be an integrating cube? What is the difference? Could I use a cube to measure total illuminance like an integrating sphere does?
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2answers
95 views

Mean free path of a photon in a fiber

Is there a way to calculate, or a reference table I can to look up which provides the average distance a photon travels before it encounters an electron and is absorbed or re-emitted in a fiber optics ...