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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Confusing mirror problem

A piece of thin spherical shell that has a radius of curvature of 106 cm is silvered on both sides. The concave side of the piece forms a real image 79.5 cm from the mirror. The piece is then turned ...
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43 views

Can the choice of reflection angle for light can be derived from a minimality condition?

When the light hits on a surface, it reflects with the "same" angle as the one that hits the surface. I was wondering if this choice of angle can be explained by a minimality condition?
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272 views

Which fraction of light is refracted from a source of light under a lake?

I was trying to solve this problem: "A punctiform source of light is standing inside a lake, at a height h of the surface. f is the fraction of the total of energy emitted that escapes directly from ...
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197 views

Seeing a mirage through mirror?

Okay, I am not really good in physics (rather terrible), but nonetheless. So, I was just wondering if you can see a mirage, is there something special in our eyes that we can see it or what? I mean, ...
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388 views

Wavelength comparison of two waves

Is there any non-digital (naturally existing) mechanism to compare two or more waves in such a way: ...
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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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196 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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135 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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372 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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75 views

How to determine the angle a camera has to be at to image a desired scene, given the camera parameters?

Reviewing old material I learned years ago, having a hard time rewrapping my head around the relationships in capturing images from a camera. Imagine a scenario with the camera placed on the ground ...
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170 views

Merge different wavelength rays

Let's say an array of rays of light is given. Each ray has a specific wavelength (in the range of visible light). Example: ...
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22 views

Why, in order to obtain distinct interference, is a small distance between the two waves essential?

This is quoted from Concepts of Physics by H.C.Verma: In order to obtain a fairly distinct interference pattern, the path difference between the two waves originating from coherent sources should ...
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37 views

Reflection during refraction

I have observed in a book (one that is different from the one that I study with in school) that a light ray reflects during refraction, which is a partial reflection, but when does that occur? Is it ...
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38 views

Light (Laser) operated optical switch

I have searched the web and found that optical switches are activated either through mechanical or electro/magnetics. Making them sort of Optomechanical or optoelectronic switches. Lets exclude ...
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34 views

Focal length problem

Let we have an biconvex lens with equal radii, that means the two radii of curvature are equal. We know that from lens equation, For biconvex lens, $r_1= r$ and the opposite radius $r_1= -r$, we ...
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76 views

Way of measuring thickness of a glass [closed]

Imagine you have a laser pointer and a glass. You don't know the refractive index of the glass and you just have Wavelength of laser! How can you measure the thickness of glass? (I have some idea but ...
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30 views

In geometric optics we treat light as a collection of particles?

I've been reading the book "Geometric Mechancis" by Darryl Holm and the in the first chapter he treats geometric optics. There the author talks about light rays and those light rays looks like ...
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33 views

Laser: Looking for name for optical component

I'm currently planning a laser setup in which I want to send a (1mW) laser into the environment using a commercial scanning unit (made of two galvanometers). I would like to measure the reflectivity ...
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63 views

Is the formula, for finding the distance between two slits, my books gives correct?

In my book'a section on Young's double-slit experiment, the formula, $d = m \lambda \sin\theta$, is given. In this equation $d$ is the distance between two slits, $\lambda$ is the wavelength of light ...
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20 views

Does “converge” mean intersecting and producing image when we are taking about convex lenses?

After reading the chapter on convex lens, I saw several places where "converge" is used. In the very beginning of the chapter, my book says "converging lenses bring light together". So I thought ...
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45 views

Interference of Beams with Different Polarizations

I have read in many places that orthogonally polarized light beams do not interfere. However, I also know that orthogonal vectors, such as force, do affect each other and give a resulting force. So, ...
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48 views

Different colors and Metamerism

Given the following graphs: They describe the response for two different colors . In addition that both colors are metamerism. My question is why? how can I prove it? Thanks
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42 views

What is the visible spectrum to common mobile phone cameras? [closed]

With my iPhone I can see the IR emitter on a tv remote, which could be around 940nm, but I thought cameras generally tried to filter for the human visible spectrum (i.e. sub 700nm). I'm trying an ...
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60 views

Do parallel rays reflecting at a mirror not intersect at one point? [closed]

Let's take a concave mirror with $CP$ as its principal axis. Let's assume that a parallel ray $p$ to $CP$ reflects at $A$ to pass through the focal point $F$. Then, $\angle CAF=\angle ACF$, which ...
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26 views

Optics Spatial Resolution

what does it mean to have a micrometer spatial resolution. Does it mean the resolution is 1 micrometer or can be 2,3,4,.... etc.? I do not understand it. Is there anybody?
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65 views

Why isn't this calculation of the energy of a light wave correct? [closed]

I'm trying to calculate the energy $J(T)$ that monochromatic light wave with electric field strength $E(T)$ supplies to unit electric charge over period of time $T$: $J(T)=\int\limits ...
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111 views

Why do sea waves seem to be standing still when you look from the window of an airplane?

Looking from the window of a passenger plane even at moderate altitude such that one can still recognize individual waves and even something like white foam, and small boats close to the cost line, it ...
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62 views

images of objects at infinity

Is the focal point of our eye lens is on the retina? if it is so why dont we see point image of infinite object because light rays coming from them are parallel to each other and converges at focal ...
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31 views

Asymmetric photoluminescence spectra

Why do photoluminescence spectra have asymmetric lineshapes as those here http://www.scielo.br/img/revistas/bjp/v37n4/a04fig01.gif or here: ...
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21 views

Use two polarizing filter without liquid crystal between them to render static image

I'm going to demonstrate the work of polarizing filter. I have a tablet for this purpose with disassembled LCD panel which is fine but it is bulky and overkill. Is there any other material that may ...
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49 views

Michelson-Morley experiment

I have to do an experiment about light. I preferred to measure the speed of light by the experiment of Michelson and Morley. When you do the experiment, it will result in an interference pattern by ...
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36 views

hexagonal patterns when we look at bright light or sun

when we look at bright light or sun, we many a times hexagonal patterns are observed. these are easily observed when we click their images. why all this happens? is all this is just a lens flare or is ...
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61 views

How is angle measured by telescope in spectrometer is twice the prism angle [closed]

While measuring the angle of the prism with the help of telescope in a spectrometer (see figure below), the observed angle is twice the angle of the prism. Can someone prove it geometrically? Edit : ...
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63 views

Optical system for cloning an image of a light source?

I need to create an optical system for cloning an image of a light source to human eyes. Is there a correct solution(design) for this problem. Reflectivity of the mirrors must be equal. Because ...
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48 views

What is the maximum of information in a beam of light?

If I look at the space I can see the Andromeda Galaxy as a small dot in the sky. If I look through a telescope, I can see the spiral shape. If the saw right through a huge telescope, I could see a ...
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40 views

Path length requirement for diffraction problem [closed]

The following question has been asked in a problem sheet I have been asked to answer: "The above diagram relates to the path lengths of radiation, with an angle of incidence, θ, reflecting off ...
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73 views

Metal Refractive index

I'm working on Fresnel equation for calculation of reflection of a light (532 nm) on Iron. I've got a question: Is metals refractive index always a real number or it can be a complex number?
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71 views

Light absorption for different liquid

when I was working on a cylindrical glassy bottle that filled with water, I found that the initial light intensity is less than the final light intensity. (It's clear but I experiment this) This is ...
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190 views

What will happen if I transmit 850nm signal through a 1300nm optical fiber? [closed]

We prefer 1300nm optical fiber over 850nm optical fiber because later one is more efficient. So am selecting 1300nm optical fiber. But I want to know the possibility of using same cable to transmit ...
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126 views

Textbook Problem: Fiber Coupling Spheres

I am reading the book Fundamentals of Photonics. I try to solve problems at the end of chapter 1, but I got stuck on two problems. Tiny glass ball are often used as lenses to couple light into and ...
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27 views

An image in movement viewed by different cameras [closed]

Why in the image the string looks like is in two places at the same time, what is the optical reason or is it because of how cameras work?
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214 views

Double slit experiment collimating lens?

In some appratus for the Young's double slit experiment a collimating lens is used infront of the double slits, meaning plane wavefronts hit the double slits. But why do we need/want plane wavefronts ...
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100 views

Lasers : Threshold Pump Power for Laser Oscillation [closed]

I was working my way through some basic laser problems , when I cam across this one : Consider the ruby laser for which we have the following values of the various parameters: $N =$ $1.6$ x ...
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53 views

Ray diagram for refraction

I'm having trouble finding out any errors in a ray diagram. The question is as follows: A ray of light falls normally on the curved face of a semi-circular plastic block, it hits the horizontal ...
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112 views

geometrical optics

I doing an experiment now. My structure has 700nm periodicity. The surface of the unit structure is sloped at 45 degrees from the normal incidence angle. My laser is 500 nm. I can expect there ...
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397 views

Why the light bent towards the normal when they pass from rarer medium to denser medium?

Whenever the light rays are entering the rarer to denser medium they bend toward the normal. Then why the rays choose the path toward the normal? Why it cannot choose the path away form the normal?
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51 views

Does the color of refractive medium affects the color of refracted light?

Imagine if I have a red colored prism that splits white light ray into its seven components, would the red component be affected by the red color of the glass material of the prism in any which way? I ...
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1answer
54 views

doppler cooling temperature limit

Wikipedia shows a heating effect that causes minimum temperature achievable in doppler cooling as: "The atom performs a random walk in momentum space with steps equal to the photon momentum due to ...
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42 views

Cause behind bending of light in refraction [duplicate]

I know that refraction is caused due to change in speed of light but why does it bends? I also know that during refraction frequency is constant and wavelength is decreased since speed slows down. But ...
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43 views

How can I make an optical circulator?

I need to a single mode 1550 optical circulator at my lab. I have a varied supply of components, but no circulator. Any idea how I can make one myself? Perhaps using coupler and isolator? Thanks. -D ...