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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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
460 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
169 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
100 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
1k 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
567 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
117 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 ...
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0answers
153 views

Bandgap Spacing in Photonic Crystals

I am doing some self-study on photonics and have encountered the following question: We know that amorphous electronic crystals such as amorphous silicon have a bandgap. Can amorphous photonic ...
4
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1answer
275 views

Future space-based telescope array

Radio-telescopes (e.g. the Very Large Array (VLA)) can simulate one gigantic dish by using separate smaller dishes. Q: Could such an array of optical telescopes potentially see an exoplanet at say 20 ...
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2answers
4k views

Why do green lasers appear brighter and stronger than red and blue lasers?

This is mostly for my own personal illumination, and isn't directly related to any school or work projects. I just picked up a trio of laser pointers (red, green, and blue), and I notice that when I ...
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1answer
182 views

Maximum resolution per lens size

This question is more practical than theoretical, but I am interested in the theoretical considerations as well. My wife just bought a Samsung S3 phone with a 8 MP image sensor hiding behind a tiny ...
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1answer
147 views

Ideal four-level Gain Medium (or just any old gain medium)

What exactly is happening in a laser's gain cell when the irradiance is greater than the saturation irradiance? Also can someone offer a clear conceptual treatment of the gain-coefficient and its ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Peak deconvolution [closed]

I need some help understanding how much information I can pull out of this data. I have a sample made up of two materials. Materials A and material B. Then I took a picture of the sample. The two ...
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1answer
68 views

Rays in Symmetric Resonator

I'm having some trouble figuring out how to get started on this question: If I have a symmetric resonator with two concave mirrors of radii $R$ separated by a certain distance, after how many round ...
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4answers
115 views

What kind of “camera” and “light” source should I use to detect the intermediate path of a light beam? [closed]

I would like to have an image (in any kind of space), where I see the path of a "light" source. In my understanding the most common, directed source would be a laser pointer. a) Is this correct? If ...
4
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1answer
162 views

How does a 2D MEMS based optical cross-connect control its mirrors?

Concerning fiber optics, I'd like to know how a 2D MEMS based optical cross-connect is able to switch optical signals. I've read that these mirrors are controlled with electrical signals to be either ...
4
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1answer
60 views

Does a “reflected” hologram produce a caustic in the shape of the original object?

Imagine you make a transmission hologram, ala the standard picture. Now you take your photographic plate, and everywhere it is transparent, you put a thin reflective layer on, and everywhere it is ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Beam splitters- Direction of use

There are two cases I'm asking about. The square in the middle is a cube beam splitter in the same orientation for both cases. We are looking at the beam splitter from the top. In the first case, ...
2
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0answers
65 views

fiber optic second order PMD as an operator on the tensor product Hilbert space

Second order polarization mode dispersion (SOPMD) is a coupling mechanism between polarization and frequency. Take our photon to be the following tensor product: $\psi = \int \gamma_{\omega} | ...
3
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2answers
1k views

How is the phase shift of light measured?

This may seem like a simple question, but I cant seem to make any headway. Consider the following; I have two beams of light, a reference beam $(A=\cos(wt))$ and phase shifted beam ...
6
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1answer
319 views

How do I use the electro-optic tensor?

I would like to calculate the performance of an optical phase modulator, in which a varying electric field across a crystal modulates the effective refractive index of light passing through the ...
4
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3answers
272 views

Is the number of rays projected by a source of light finite?

Take a source of light which gives out infinite number of rays, each ray with finite number of photons and each photon with a finite amount of energy, Then, Aren't the number of photons become ...
2
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1answer
282 views

Solar energy and optical fiber

I'm not really good at science or physics, just wanted to ask about the idea (doesn't have an opportunity to test this). Will this scheme work and what can be its efficiency?(The goal is to make ...
5
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1answer
200 views

Optics Paradox?

Imagine we have two lens, one convex and one concave, spaced in such a way that the convex lens is before the concave lens. Now each lens has its own focus length and both are spaced such that the ...
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1answer
122 views

What is primary reason for a matter to be transparent as Cornea is?

Is it because its internal structure is Crystalline? I mean by transparency following.
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3answers
1k views

Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?

Today's liquid crystal shutter glasses, when in the "transparent" state, exhibit only 40% light transmission. They work using two polarizer layers, one which is liquid crystal and goes {vertical ...
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5answers
15k views

Free Optics Simulation Programs

I'm having an extremely difficult time finding an optics program that is easy to use and offers accurate physics simulations. I'm not asking for much, I just want to be able to simulate a laser going ...
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1answer
341 views

Width of Gaussian Beam and Refractive Index

I know that in free space, the width of a Gaussian beam can be written as $W=W_0\sqrt{1+(\frac{z}{z_0})^{2}}$. However, I was wondering if it was possible to express this width as a function of ...
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1answer
325 views

Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, $C=-\alpha ...
3
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2answers
343 views

Redirecting light beams from beam splitters

I'm doing a project where I am taking a laser beam and sending it through a beam splitter. As I understand, approximately 50% of the light will go pass through and 50% will be reflected. So this means ...
6
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1answer
6k views

Optical microscope magnification limits?

Optical microscopes are quoted as having a maximum magnification of 1500x to 2000x - what is this calculated from?
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1answer
652 views

Different colors in LED/LCD display when viewed from different angle?

I want to know why different colours appear when viewed with a different angle. Can anyone tell me why?
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1answer
313 views

E and H fields created by fiber optics?

When an EM wave travels down a conductor, it creates and electric and magnetic field around (H) the wire and normal to (E) the wire. My question is, when light travels down an optical material such ...
3
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2answers
298 views

Misaligned Mirror on Michelson Inferometer

If one of the outer mirrors on a Michelson interferometer was to be misaligned by a small angle of theta, what would be the shape of the interference pattern in the detector plane? What would happen ...
3
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1answer
2k views

How to find focal length of a single convex lens?

I need help finding the focal length of a single convex lens. The radius of curvature is 200mm. left side is air and the glass has a index of 1.5. I search on google but there was only formulas for ...
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3answers
4k views

Why does your reflection stay the same size when you move further away from the mirror?

This was an experiment I saw in my son's workbook. It said to mark out the top of your forehead and the bottom of your chin on a mirror using a whiteboard marker. Then slowly move backwards, and ...
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2answers
2k views

How to make the projected image smaller by adding one ore more lenses in front of the built in projector lense?

I have a projector that creates a large image, even if the distance to the screen is short. The device is very small, approximateley 10x10 cm if you look from above. The height is only 3 cm. I ...
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3answers
834 views

What are these rays that appear in photograph of sun?

In many images of light emitting objects we see such rays. Why do they appear ? What is the math behind their number and direction?
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1answer
104 views

Photonics: Slab As a Lens [closed]

The question can be found here: http://gyazo.com/fc4d26cd35e6ce368ad2a8ed504f1dcc The refractive index it references can be found here: http://gyazo.com/94fd2f3b5ea7da9226c3acd56b0024c1 I'm not ...
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0answers
399 views

Intensity of the diffraction pattern of the double slit

I am trying another approach for my last unanswered question. (Bounty still on for 3 days. Anyone? Please?) Note that this is not the same question but a greatly simplified version concerning a much ...
3
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1answer
470 views

Is there a simple model explaining Faraday effect?

I find magneto-optical effects fascinating, and especially the Faraday effect. But most sources only give a phenomenological description, while I want a deeper explanation of its mechanism. Is there a ...
0
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1answer
691 views

Are silicone polymers transparent to infrared light?

I know that silicon and even black plastic bags are transparent to infrared light. What about light-colored silicone polymers (take white or green colors)? Are they transparent to infrared light too? ...
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3answers
491 views

Conservation of energy with Huygens-Fresnel principle

I am currently experimenting with Huygens-Fresnel principle. I am trying to simulate the propagation of a beam, emerging from an aperture slot of width w. I assume the slot to be long and therefore ...
8
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3answers
497 views

Why do rainbows have distinct colors?

When I searched on the Internet for the reason of formation of rainbows, I got many explanations like this one & this. All the explanations consider only one spherical water droplet (like this ...
2
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3answers
466 views

Is there a simple approximation to calculate the index of refraction of water?

A very rough approximation from first principles, from the elementary charge and hbar, would suffice. But is there such an approximation at all? (Alternatively, if water is too difficult: is there ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Reflection of Electromagnetic Waves

Visible light - Being an Electromagnetic wave is reflected by glass (take mirror). Would all other waves in the electromagnetic spectrum be reflected in the same way by our simple mirror... For highly ...
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2answers
337 views

Why does heterodyne laser Doppler vibrometry require a modulating frequency shift?

On the wikipedia article (and other texts such as Optical Inspections of Microsystems) for laser Doppler vibrometry, it states that a modulating frequency must be added such that the detector can ...
5
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2answers
115 views

Filming light in motion?

Regarding this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_9vd4HWlVA, which claims to "film" light in its motion. Is it not an absolute nonsense? Even if photons could even be "seen" (meaning, returning ...