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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Why would the reflection of a lamp by a bowl look like a heart?

I have this bowl roughly the shape of a circular truncated cone, and the lamp shines on the bowl at an angle. The reflected lamp light hit the bottom of the bowl and created a light ring that looks ...
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1answer
519 views

Diffraction/Bragg's law : how does $2\theta$ come about?

I'm trying to get my head around a problem (I should have checked whether I had the answer in class, the exams are coming up now and I don't know if I'll get a lecturer response over the holidays) I ...
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0answers
90 views

Improvement of microscope resolution with Oil [closed]

Why and when do we need to place oil over the sample to achieve higher optical resolution ? Is this idea is valid for the enhancement of all optical microscopy techniques and magnification scales ?
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1answer
2k views

Didn't Newton's Corpuscular theory fail to explain reflection?

In 1637 Descartes gave the corpuscular model of light and derived Snell's law. This Corpuscular model of light was further developed by Isaac Newton in his famous book entitled OPTICKS and because of ...
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2answers
3k views

Fresnel distance and Geometrical limit

I read about the geometrical limit of wave theory. The source from where I read had a slightly different explanation to provide than here(The more rigorous answer is too complicated for me to ...
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1answer
643 views

Diffracton at the edges of an opaque object?

To understand the phenomenon of diffraction as an interference effects of several dipole oscillators (like in case of several symmetrical, not sawtooth, scratches in a diffraction grating), we ...
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0answers
30 views

Resource about Supercontinuum Generation in Fibers

I would like to consult a nice reference that explains the theoretical background of SC generation in optical fibers in detail but more or less self-contained. I would also like to have your opinions ...
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2answers
88 views

What gives an object its colour?

My understanding of colour is that atoms in a particular object will absorb certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, and the scattered wavelengths give the object its colour. The absorbed ...
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3answers
213 views

How to smooth the spectrum of a light source?

Could somebody please tell me if there's a reasonably cheap substance or device can I use to smooth the spectrum of a light source? For example, if the spectrum has spikes as in the blue graph below, ...
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1answer
93 views

Frequency dependence of permittivity — why not monotonic?

I naively thought that most materials were transparent to radiation of frequencies above their plasma frequency, and opaque to radiation below it. The most intuitive (and analyzed lightly in ...
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1answer
48 views

Relativistic aberration - half-sky radius

With relativistic aberration, a sky full of stars gets concentrated in the direction of motion. As a rough measure of the degree of concentration, one could use the radius of a small circle, centered ...
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3answers
391 views

How to be sure that a He-Ne laser light is monochromatic

How can I be sure that the emission of a He-Ne laser contains only one single mode of laser cavity? The only thing that I know is that if I use a diffraction grating and the light isn't ...
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1answer
49 views

Measuring spin direction by means of coherent light?

Let us assume that we have the ferromagnetic surface where all atoms have the same direction of spins. And we can interact with the single atom in such lattice. Is it possible to measure the ...
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388 views

Is optical-illusion responsible for Loch Ness monster? [closed]

When you look out at the white-caps on a wind-swept lake, you can see a dark, undulating pattern under the crests of the white-caps. Could this shadow-like area explain the sightings? Revised, see ...
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1answer
396 views

Why does a light wave invert at a boundary with greater index of refraction?

Is there a reason why a EM wave reflects invertedly when it meets a boundary point with a greater index of refraction. In the case of ropes, if remember correctly, the reason why it inverts is to ...
3
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2answers
196 views

Third order optical mixing

It's pretty straight-forward to visualise second-order non-linear optical mixing processes in which two waves of frequencies $\omega_{1}$ and $\omega_{2}$ mix up to generate new waves of different ...
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0answers
99 views

Boundary Condition for Generating Evanescent Waves

I'm reading through Novotny and Hecht's book on Nano-Optics (Principles of Nano-Optics), and I've come across a subtlety in the boundary conditions for evanescent wave generation (via total internal ...
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1answer
446 views

Fresnel Zones-How are they Formed?

How are Fresnel Zones formed? What phenomena of light allow ellipsoid areas to be in phase? I've tried reading articles, but they more or less introduce me to characteristics of light, and then tell ...
3
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2answers
1k views

The Goos Hanchen shift mechanism

When the light is totally reflected in the interface between dense and less-dense medium, we know that the reflected beam will shift a little. Currently I have known the reflection coef r, will be a ...
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2answers
119 views

Designing a Handheld Optical Communication Device

I'm in a group trying to design an underwater optical communication system for a capstone project. For this system we are planning on using multiple high powered LEDs passing through a lens system, ...
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2answers
840 views

A difference between Plane Wave and Collimated?

Collimation is clearly in reference to ray($\vec{k}_{xy}$ vector) orientation unlike waterfront continuity( $\phi_{xy}$ phase shift) described by plane-wave. Not to say that one is not directly ...
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2answers
174 views

What is the transmittance function of a photo filter?

The effect of some photo filters can be summarized in transmission curves such as this one: I do not understand which physical value is modified by the value labeled as "Diffuse Density" in the ...
2
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1answer
378 views

Diffraction at apertures with arbitrary angle to wavefront

Every physics book I know explains diffraction (e.g. at slits, gratings and circular apertures) in a way which assumes that the light wave impinges perpendicularly on the aperture. Would there be any ...
2
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1answer
175 views

Ring Resonators

If optical field will propagate into the following ring resonator. Optical field will propagate into the ring and propagate to the coupling region. I didn't get where and how the interference will ...
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2answers
332 views

Microscopy types and techniques? [closed]

I didn't get the basic difference in between the different types of microscopy. for example there are several different microscopy techniques are available such as Bright field, Dark field, Confocal, ...
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1answer
114 views

Source of beating phenomena of a Michelson interferometer?

I was discussing the reason why we see beating from a Michelson interferometer, and one of my friend said it 's because the light have different frequencies, therefore, they would be out of phase. ...
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0answers
92 views

What is the requirements from an optical lab in terms of darkness

I am characterizing an optical lab and would like to know therefore what are the requirement from a standard optical lab in terms of ambient luminescence. In other words how dark should an optical lab ...
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2answers
1k views

Polarized sunglasses: should the axes in both lenses be parallel?

See the pictures below. A pair of sunglasses I recently purchased has the polarization axis in one lens offset about 20 degrees (by eyeball estimation) from the other. I don't have much experience ...
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6answers
1k views

Are coherent states of light 'classical' or 'quantum'?

Coherent states of light, defined as $$|\alpha\rangle=e^{-\frac{|\alpha|^2}{2}}\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{\alpha^n}{\sqrt{n!}}|n\rangle $$ for a given complex number $\alpha$ and where $|n\rangle$ is a ...
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2answers
336 views

Difference in perception of unpolarized and polarized light

What is the difference in perception of polarized light and unpolarized light? What difference does polarized light cause to our eyes?
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2answers
102 views

Is it possible to build an optical system that increases the perceived surface brightness?

So is it possbile to build a system from lenses and mirrors that can make faint gas nebulas brighter or can be used as nightvision? If you increase the size of the aperture of a telescope it will ...
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2answers
664 views

Diffraction Grating Spectrometry Question [closed]

Yes, this is a homework question, but I've already failed to solve it enough times that the online system hosting it isn't going to give me any marks, so I figure it's a good time to stop hitting the ...
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3answers
2k views

Exciting Surface Plasmon-Polaritons with Grating Coupling

I'm very new the topic of SPPs and have been trying to understand this particular method of exciting surface plasmons using a 1D periodic grating of grooves, with distance $a$ between each groove. If ...
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1answer
73 views

Optics & Law of Cosines

I'm supposed to use law of cosines on $S_1S_2P$ in the following diagram that relates to a lens: To arrive at the following equation: $$ \frac{r_2}{r_1} = [1 - 2(\frac{a}{r_1})sin(\theta) + ...
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2answers
1k views

About partially polarized light and the degree of polariztion

When I was taking Optics course, I found there were several questions about polarization of light. I use the textbook of Hecht. It seems that the definition of degree of polarization may be not so ...
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1answer
536 views

Image formed in a compound light microscope

I am trying to understand whether the image formed in a compound light microscope is at infinity or not. I get conflicting answers everywhere I look.
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1answer
64 views

Determining distance from object in concave lens [closed]

so I was studying for my Yr11 Physics test tomorrow and I came across a question that I got the wrong answer on, all of my friends are getting the same answer. Question: You wish to project the image ...
9
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2answers
474 views

Fully destructive interference

I'm aware that this is somewhat of a frequently asked question (not only here), and i've dug through respective answer for a few hours before i decided to ask here. None of those answers helped me ...
2
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1answer
756 views

What gives substances their color?

As far as i know (i may be wrong!), substances appear to have a definite color because they reflect/ transmit all the light rays of the given color, and absorb all the lights rays of the remaining ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Why is there no dark band below a rainbow?

I've read articles about Descartes' theory of the rainbow and I can understand why there is a dark band of about 8 degrees (Alexander's band) between the primary and secondary bows: for all the water ...
3
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1answer
118 views

Michelson interferogram white light pattern symmetry

Why is the white light of the interferogram produced by using Michelson Interferometer necessarily symmetric? This is really hard to think.
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2answers
95 views

Temperature-induced wavelength shift of optical coatings?

Optical coatings designed for reflection or anti-reflection are made of many thin layers which will expand when heated. What will the effect be on the wavelengths the coating will reflect when the ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Nokia PureView microscope: fluorescent Imaging

I've come across this article: Fluorescent Imaging of Single Nanoparticles and Viruses on a Smart Phone. And what is the theoretical limit for such smartphone extension? And how that limit can be ...
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0answers
96 views

Why do I get different colours in scratched holograms?

I was making a scratched holograms and in result got different colours instead of white hologram
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0answers
41 views

Why do 3D holograms need curved lines?

I'm making a scratched hologram and I'm interested in we have to make curved lines to get a 3D image.
2
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1answer
799 views

Why does this flashlight lens have this shape?

I pulled apart a flashlight and found a similar lens as the one shown below. I assume that the light starts off as a “point source” somewhere inside and the curvature and/or shape of the “lens” ...
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1answer
654 views

Triboluminescence, how does it work? [duplicate]

I was browsing Reddit and I stumbled upon this. It is a video on making duct tape glow a blue light by pulling two pieces of duct tape apart. Appearntly the glowing is caused by something called ...
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1answer
963 views

how does the mirror equation works and what lead to using of sign convention?

EVERYTHING HERE IS FOR CONCAVE MIRROR Everywhere I see the derivation of the mirror equation is given by placing an object before the focus and then proving similarity of the triangles to get to the ...
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1answer
245 views

Experiment regarding myopic correction by a manipulation of fingers?

Here is a small experiment my tutor once told us for just amusement. It works for myopic people at least, and can be a good check to see if you have myopia. With your naked eye, ("remove the ...
4
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3answers
174 views

Possibility for contact lenses that enhance the vibrancy of color

Would it be possible to develop oculars that would enhance the vibrancy of color? I know there are many digital filters to improve vibrancy, but are there physical devices able to produce the same ...