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 does the area of illumination affect the numerical aperture / optical resolution of an optical system?

I have been reading an optics paper in which they designed a microscope with the following setup. A light source passes through a small pinhole, illuminates a sample, which then forms a diffraction ...
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40 views

How does change in medium affect object distance/image distance?

Say,we have a container filled with a liquid of refractive index $7/5$ upto a height up $H$. There exists a plane glass mirror at the bottom of the container. Now if a fish were placed at a height of ...
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274 views

Why is an exciton only observed when we excite to the conduction band and not to other electronic level inside the bandgap?

Excitons can be observed when we excite electrons to the conduction band. I don't know about excitons being observed when we excite the electrons to an electronic level that would eventually be in ...
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Why glass is transparent?

Once I asked this question from my teacher and he replied "because it passes light", "and why it passes light" I asked and he said "because it is transparent". Same question again, Why glass is ...
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1answer
25 views

Michleson Interferometer fringe shift

I have a problem with interferometer fringe shift. I am learning it from my physics book. In the book, it is written, "As the L1 (Displacement of moveable mirror) is changed, the pattern of ...
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What causes atoms to have their specific colors?

I understand that light (color) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and that it depends on what wavelengths are reflected/absorbed. Though what property of an individual atom gives it its color? ...
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1answer
673 views

Definition of pole of a spherical mirror

what can be a suitable definition to a pole of the spherical mirror. It cant be the geometrical center of a spherical mirror as if a mirror is cut then its pole does not change. moreover if a ...
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1answer
125 views

Refractive index and color

Does the color of an object have anything to do with its refractive index, and if so, what is the relation? I tried googling this and searching through the questions on stack exchange, but I haven't ...
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115 views

Why can't incoherent light be collimated as well as laser light (e.g. in a laser pointer)?

Why does a laser pointer contain a laser diode, and not just an LED? A laser pointer contains a laser diode, which essentially shines coherent light over a large angle, and a collimating lens, to ...
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229 views

Is the photon truly not absorbed in Raman scattering?

In reading about Raman Scattering, I was thinking while reading it "okay, incident photo absorbed by molecule, molecule goes to higher energy vibrational state, molecule re-emits photon with either ...
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382 views

Law of reflection for a moving mirror

An elementary fact that people learn about mirrors is the law of reflection, that the angle of incidence of a light beam striking the mirror (as measured with respect to a normal) equals the angle of ...
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175 views

Optical path difference

I have question about calculating optical path difference. $$\Delta L = \mathrm{(BC+CD)}\cdot n_2 - \textrm{BF}\cdot n_1$$ - why calculating path difference here we are subtracting $\mathrm{BF}$ ...
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how to solve this question? [closed]

This is the question in my text : A monochromatic light of wavelength $\mathrm{600 \times 10^{-9}m}$ is used in a Young's double slit experiment. One of the slit is covered by a transparent sheet ...
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39 views

How black body absorbs light?

I learn that black body absorbs light, but couldn't get the mechanism behind it. I wish I could get help.
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3k views

Is true black possible?

Black is the absence of light because it absorbs light, but when we create black paint or black objects, light is always reflected, either in all directions in matte or smoothly in shiny black ...
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37 views

Amplitude of unpolarized EM wave after a polarizer

The amplitude of a linearly polarized wave after a polarizer is $$E_1 = E_0\cos(\theta)$$ and the intensity is $$I_1 = I_0\cos^2(\theta)$$ Now for unpolarized light, the time averaged amplitude is ...
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122 views

How to calculate reflection profile of a beam shining onto a moving mirror?

I want to build a projector, where a beam of light is shining on to mirrors, placed at different angles, which are spinning fast enough to draw lines. The question is, how to calculate the needed ...
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1answer
31 views

Tilted and Misaligned Items in Optical Schemes

My scientific advisor has said me to find correct and concrete ray matrices (ABCD (2x2) or ABCDEFGHI (3x3) or ABCDEFGHIJKL (4x4)) corresponding to tilted and misaligned optical elements such as: ...
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51 views

Interference Pattern and dark lines

Two very narrow slits are spaced apart and are placed 35.0 cm from a screen. What is the distance between the first and second dark lines of the interference pattern when the slits are illuminated ...
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53 views

Glowing light around my shadow during sunrise

This morning I was jogging when the sun came rose. I was in the middle of wheat-fields and noticed that there was a glow around the upper part of body's shadow on the fields. At first I thought that ...
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30 views

Quantify shade-off and halo effect in phase contrast microscopy

Shade-off and halo effect introduce distortion to phase contrast images. I am trying to utilize these features to write a program which could identify spherical cells from (positive) phase contrast ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is the atmosphere transparent in the visible spectrum?

One of the great 'coincidences' in physics is that the Sun happens to shine most brightly at exactly the wavelengths our eyes can see; it's an easy explanation that our eyes evolved to make the most ...
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1answer
845 views

How can my window not scramble the image of my yard?

How can an image pass through a window if the atoms in the glass randomly emit photons in any direction? I've read that glass is transparent because the atoms don't readily adsorb visible light, so it ...
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Why aren't all objects transparent?

I know that for an object to be transparent, visible light must go through it undisturbed. In other words, if the light energy is sufficiently high to excite one of the electrons in the material, ...
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2answers
79 views

How come lenses alter the path of photons?

From what I know, photons are theorized particles and believed to be massless (just energy) and travel at the speed of light. How come a lens, which is an object made of atoms, can bend a light path? ...
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1answer
38 views

Does the angle of incidence change the refractive index?

I've been told if you plot a graph using the sine of the angle of incidence and the sine of the angle of transmission it should follow a linear regression $y = ax + b$. However, if you use certain ...
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1answer
29 views

What is meant by the point-source response of eye or telescope?

I have heard that a source is called unresolved if it is much smaller in angular size than the point-source response of the eye or telescope observing it. What is the meaning of point-source response ...
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40 views

Does curving only the inner surface of a diving mask prevent blurred images?

Diving masks often have lenses built into the glass for divers who do not have perfect vision. The lenses in a diving mask faceplate often only have a curved surfaces on the inside glass. Why is this ...
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23 views

What is the relative importance of lens element quality in a multiple lens system? [closed]

I tried grinding a custom lens out of acrylic glass (diameter 20mm, focal length 30mm). Not very surprisingly, the result is a quite poor quality lens. I think it mostly suffers from geometry and ...
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1answer
24 views

Is perfectly diffuse reflection entropy maximizing?

Suppose that I shine light on a surface and none of it will be absorbed or transmitted, and the spectrum doesn't change (so that all that's left to determine is the power reflected from the surface as ...
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8k views

Eyes open under water

Yesterday I looked underwater with my eyes open (and no goggles) and I realized I can't see anything clearly. Everything looks very, very blurry. My guess is that the eye needs direct contact with air ...
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1answer
42 views

Application of Snell's law for an extraordinary wave?

I have read [1] that when the light enters a birefringent material with optical axis perpendicular to the plane of incidence that the angle of refraction of the extraordinary wave can be found by ...
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1answer
18 views

Why is second harmonic Intensity periodic in coherent length?

Solving for the intensity of second harmonic generation we get that intensity is $sinc^2(\pi/2*L/L_{coherent})$. How is calculated that the intensity is periodic in L_{coherent} (coherent length, L ...
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What is the theoretical maximum data transmission rate of an optical laser at 400nm and at 800nm, with optimal pulse width? [closed]

I want to know what the highest possible data transfer is for visible light with regards to the frequency, disregarding noise. Using the shannon-hartley formula wasn't of much use, as it operates ...
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2answers
79 views

Is Huygens's Wave Theory still correct?

We have to study on details about Huygens's Wave Theory though we have Electromagnetic theory, quantum theory today. Is it still correct or not?
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59 views

What is the difference between a white object and a mirror in terms of heat absorption?

Will a white object be cooler than a mirror when exposed to direct sunlight? Or will it be the other way around? If mirrors bounce all visible light and some of the other elements of electromagnetic ...
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2answers
8k views

Why do I see better under water using swimming goggles? [duplicate]

I am myopic (I don't really know if this is relevant or not) and I usually swim without contact lenses. My vision is clearly better underwater when I am using swimming goggles. I have tried to ...
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1answer
36 views

Stark broadening and Voigt fitting

I have LIBS spectral data acquired with a CT spectrometer of resolution 0.4nm. I fitted the Voigt profile into the spectral peak at $\lambda_0$. The lorentz $\Delta \lambda_L$ and the gaussian ...
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1k views

Highly diminished image of an object placed at infinity

Consider an object at infinity. The rays coming from it are parallel to each other. Let one of the parallel rays pass through the focus $F_1$ of a thin lens, and let a second ray pass through the ...
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26 views

Why are photonics fibers called band gap fiber?

Why are photonics fibers called band gap fibers? Do the photonic fibers guide light inside the band gap or outside? What creates the band structure?
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2answers
31 views

How do I find uncertainties in an intensity plot created from a photograph?

I have a photo of a laser beam (taken by sending the laser into a CCD). I then took the image and ran it through an image reader that gave an intensity surface plot. I then took a single cut from that ...
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828 views

Half wave plate and angular momentum

Given: A half wave plate freely floating in space. Circularly polarized light, falling perpendicularly to it. The plate changes polarisation of the beam to the opposite one. Therefore it ...
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1answer
37 views

Focal Length Calculation [closed]

Although I research in the internet, I couldn't find detailed answer. I have a question and I want to make sure from the answer. The ligth is coming from a fiber laser source and focused on a ...
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Cherenkov Luminescence Imaging, Cherenkov radiation,

Is it possible to see glowing from Thin Layer chromatography (TLC silica gel on Aluminium) when we image it by IVIS spectrum (no radioactive source)?
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259 views

Is light getting another color when travelling through a prism?

When white light travels through a prism the speed of this light is slowed down. Now there is a relation between speed of light, frequency and wavelength. So when a red light of 700nm enters a prism ...
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1answer
84 views

caustics on droplets on glasses formed by streetlights

Suppose you're out at night, and it's rainy, and your glasses are covered by water droplets, and you chance to look at a streetlight. Are the ridged caustics of light seen at the edges of these ...
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1answer
34 views

How does total internal reflection cause sparkling of diamonds? [duplicate]

How does total internal reflection cause sparkling of diamonds? What is the problem with ordinary glass?
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2answers
53 views

Optics to correct focal distance across a plane

I have a laser beam which is focused to a point at a certain distance. I'm then going to use a galvanometer to scan that beam across a plane. Obviously, as the beam scans across the plane, the ...
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Derivation of the group velocity

I know that the group velocity of a light pulse is defined as $$\begin{split}v_g&=v_p\left(1+\frac{\lambda}{n}\frac{dn}{d\lambda}\right)\\ ...
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Does this picture look wrong to anyone else? [closed]

There is a typo. One which obfuscates the main point and makes it difficult for anyone unfamiliar with the problem to deduce the answer.