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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What is this area on a lens seen from extreme angle?

This has been a secret to me since childhood: a normal lens made of glass in front of a white LCD screen (shot with a crappy phone camera)... ...if viewed from an extreme angle shows a very ...
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4answers
2k views

Do gravitational lenses have a focus point?

Do gravitational lenses have a focus point? Could I burn space ants?
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166 views

Superposition principle and polarization

I am reading an optics book (Physics of Light and Optics by Peatross and Ware) that asserts this: A beam of light can always be considered as an intensity sum of completely unpolarized light and ...
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2answers
394 views

Lenses and wave optics?

We all have studied lenses in the framework of geometrical optics, but how do they work within wave optics? I figure that the topic is quite broad, but I would appreciate any hints, like which ...
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3answers
474 views

Double-slit expirement fundamentals (half-silvered mirror version)

In the double-slit experiment variation in which 2 half-silvered mirrors and 2 mirrors are used to illustrate the interference of a stream of photons or single photons at a given time step, how is it ...
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207 views

Finesse of an Fabry-Pérot interferometer

during an undergrad experiment we have to estimate the finesse of an Fabry-Pérot interferometer. The reflectance $R$ is given so the theoretical value can be calculated by $\mathcal{F} = ...
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1answer
86 views

Radiation pressure thermodynamic paradox

Could the radiation pressure of a black body (theoretically) perform work on the perfectly reflecting apparatus in the figure below? Assume that the block does not hinder the passage of light through ...
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2answers
435 views

Reflection between two mirrors?

If I put my hand between two perfectly aligned mirrors and then remove it will the images continue to reflect for a few nanoseconds? If yes then will the images be of a combination of the front and ...
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1answer
781 views

Finding out the minimum deviation angle [duplicate]

Let a light incident on a prisom at right angle. I want to determine the minimum deviation angle. I know a relation $$ \frac{\cos i_1}{\cos r_1} = \frac{\sin i_1}{\sin r_1}$$ and minimum angle ...
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34 views

Are “phase-specific” masks ever used in the context of double exposure lithography? Can these sorts of things exist?

I was recently reading an 08' paper on double exposure lithography: and I was wondering if there existed some material that could be used to create a mask for e.g. a 193 nm light source that was only ...
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1answer
125 views

Holographic Image

In a holography set-up, as shown in the figure below, Illumination beam and reference beam both are in phase. The interference pattern generated at the detector contains the whole information about ...
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3answers
121 views

Why don't fogbows appear on clouds?

As far as I know clouds are lot of small droplets condensed in air. If droplets are large enough we see a rainbow. If they are small we see a fogbow. Although the size of the droplets are big enough ...
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4answers
825 views

Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
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1answer
142 views

Optical coherence tomography

In Optical Coherence Tomography, Broader bandwidth/low coherence light sources are used. Is it only because to increase the resolution or are there any other reasons? What will happen if we use a high ...
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1answer
238 views

Confocal Microscopy

In the context of Confocal Microscopy literature state, "spatial rejection of out of phase light".Is that mean only light which is pass through the pinhole is used and the rest is blocked ?
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5answers
402 views

What causes blurriness in an optical system?

The way I understand the purpose of a typical optical system is that it creates a one to one mapping between each possible incident ray and a point on a sensor plane. This is like a mathematical ...
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2answers
326 views

How to produce a loss-free combination of two “identical” beams?

This is for anyone with experience in optics/imaging/photography as well as anyone who likes to puzzle over tricky physics problems. As the title suggests, this is about combining two (for all ...
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3answers
2k views

Newton's rings experiment

I have performed experiments in my college laboratory on Newton's rings to find radius the of curvature of the convex lens used. I always get a dark center. Is it possible to get a bright center? If ...
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1answer
191 views

Why does the colour of a thing change when under huge magnification?

For instance, this image: shows human eyelashes close up. The lashes look green, in fact the whole surface area has a strange tint of green Why is this?
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2answers
192 views

Is it possible to focus the sun in such way?

Imagine the sliding part of the mirror is controlled by computer and opens on intervals. Is it possible to increase the power of the beam by making it bounce between the mirrors thus going through ...
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2answers
577 views

Diffraction by a lens

The fraunhoffer treatment of circular apertures yields a diffraction pattern of circles, with the first minimum (dark ring) at an angular radius of $\theta$ where $\sin(\theta)=1.22\lambda/b$, where ...
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1answer
195 views

relation between Schrodinger equation and wave equation [duplicate]

I have always been confused by the relationship between the Schrödinger equation and the wave equation. $$ i\hbar \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial t} = - \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} \nabla^2+ U \psi ...
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2answers
119 views

Microscopic explanation of optical activity

The origin of linear birefringence in crystal can be easily explained by the symmetry of the crystal. However, it seems it is hard to be applied in circular birefringence (i.e. optical activity), ...
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1answer
48 views

Which microscopy technique is for wet condition? [closed]

I am searching for a microscopy technique in wet conditions. It must be possible to see through the specimen. ESEM is good but can't see through. TEM needs high vacuum which will boil away water. The ...
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2answers
373 views

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
535 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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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
661 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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31 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
91 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
214 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
401 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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392 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
403 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 ...
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2answers
204 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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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
457 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
852 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
177 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
383 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
181 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
339 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
116 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
93 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 ...