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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Is it possible to calculate the relative abundances of elements in the sun based on its line spectrum using a common lab spectroscope?

There are many problems that I feel would hinder the process: atmospheric noise, light pollution etc. Let's assume that I bypass these problems and get an accurate emission line spectrum on the ...
1
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1answer
76 views

How to extract depth of a pixel from an image?

I'll have a few pictures that show the same scene, but only a few things move around a little bit. Now I don't have an information about any size in real life but I'd like to extract a scaling factor ...
51
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3answers
3k views

How to measure the wavelength of a laser pointer?

I'm working on something and I need to know the wavelength of the laser pointer that I'm using. Can you suggest me a way, using some optics formulae, or anything else to calculate the wavelength?
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1answer
39 views

Is crystal diffraction actually diffraction?

It seems like a very common model that is taught in schools for crystal diffraction is that there is an incident plane wave of light on a crystal lattice, and each atom in the lattice scatters the ...
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0answers
10 views

Why is a time-varying phase equivalent to a spectral shear?

A spectral shear of an optical pulse can be achieved by inserting a time-varying electro-opto (EO) crystal in the beam path to modulate the phase of the pulse. How is this spectral shear achieved ...
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1answer
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?
4
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2answers
343 views

Why are non-linear optics called non-linear?

Looking at the wikipedia article on nonlinear optics you can see a huge list of frequency mixing (or multi-photon) processes. What makes these different from single-photon interactions? More ...
2
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1answer
86 views

How do solar cells increase the lifespan of the Sun?

While reading "Physics of Solar Cells" by Würfel, I came across an amusing statement: An interesting aspect arises if we had to pay for solar energy, but could also get a refund for energy ...
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0answers
13 views

Coordinate Transformation across different media

I have an arrangement that is as follows : (1) inner cylinder(radius r1) filled with water (2) outer cylinder(concentric, radius r2>r1) made of glass I have a sensor S1 at radius r(r1) at angle beta. ...
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1answer
42 views

Is there a formula to calculate the deviated angle of a ray passing through a prism?

I'm assuming the angle of incidence to be the number of degrees from a perpendicular line on the side of a prism the ray starts passing through... I'm trying to figure out the angle the ray would be ...
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1answer
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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0answers
15 views

Interference on curved film

Let's say I have a curved film in the XY plane, delimited by $y=0$, $y=\sqrt{x}$, $x=L$. Now I light the thin film from the top and I try to see the interference pattern by transmision. I'm stuck ...
2
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0answers
165 views

The optics of vortex (in water): why there is a bright ring?

This picture is from this YouTube video from "Physics Girl", which shows how you can generate vortices in a swimming pool by using a plate: And there she explains the creation of the shaded circle ...
3
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2answers
62 views

Using a transfer matrix to calculate beam width of off-axis Gaussian beam?

I have been reading a lot about ABCD matrices that are used for ray tracing. I can calculate the output offset $r_{o}$ (with respect to the optical axis) and the angle $\theta$ of the ray by $$ ...
2
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0answers
41 views

What causes this pattern in the reflection of a laser on a screen? [duplicate]

When I shine a red laser behind me at a wall I see a strange reflection occurring on my laptop screen Why does this happen? The pattern on my screen occurs exactly where the laser is hitting the wall. ...
0
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1answer
40 views

How do I determine lens placement inside the minimum focus distance?

I've seen this solution which explains how head mounted displays work but I need to know where to place the lens. The previous solution used an objective lens to focus collimated light, I'm assuming ...
0
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2answers
109 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 ...
2
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0answers
44 views

Resolution of two frequencies

If I am trying to resolve two features in frequency space, with central frequencies A and B and a 'spread' (standard deviation, FWHM etc.) of $\sigma_A$ and $\sigma_B$ what is the spectral separation ...
0
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3answers
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 ...
4
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0answers
25 views

3D glasses and reflection/polarisation [duplicate]

Hi all, Tonight I'm going to see a 3D film so I thought I'd check whether I had any old 3D glasses around the house. Found a pair of "RealD" glasses. Anyhow, I assume that the glasses use some ...
1
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1answer
35 views

Gaussian beam shape

In this diagram of a Gaussian beam, why does the radius vary with z position? Is it assumed that a Gaussian beam is always being focus by a lense? Why can the beam not go any smaller than $w_0$ and ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

A Difficulty with Liquid Metal Mirror Telescopes

"Another difficulty is that a liquid metal mirror can only be used in zenith telescopes" [Wiki] Why is that? Why can't a series of flat mirrors be used to reflect light coming from any angle to be ...
0
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1answer
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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0answers
31 views

Rayleigh Criterion and Resolvability

If I want to resolve two close but different wavelengths $\lambda_{1}$ and $\lambda_{2}$ to the second order in my experiment using a grating of spacing $d$, is the size of the grating ($D = Nd$) I ...
4
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0answers
62 views

How can I precisely measure the intensity of the Hydrogen Alpha (Balmer) line at low intensities?

I assume that I will need some kind of very precise filtering, but how is that accomplished? After that, photon counting at worst, but I am expecting millions of photons per second. The background is ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Sampling a 2-dimensional surface: How many samples along X & Y axes?

I have a set of first 25 Zernike polynomials. Below are shown few in Cartesin co-ordinate system. z2 = 2*x z3 = 2*y z4 = sqrt(3)*(2*x^2+2*y^2-1) : : ...
2
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2answers
81 views

Momentum change of a photon upon diffraction at a grating

How is the momentum change of a photon is related to the grating periodicity and diffraction order? I came across with this question while studying surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and how to excite ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Power of several focused laser beams on a small surface

After viewing this: My Homemade 40W Laser Shotgun Will the initial 40W power of the diodes beams be roughly transferred to the targeted surface where the 8 beams are focused, or will there be a power ...
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0answers
25 views

Why did the reflection coefficient of quarter-wavelength coating depends on the indices of refraction

It was derived in page 428 of Optics by Eugene Hecht (4ed), that in the configuration below: where $$d = \lambda_f / 4 $$ The reflection coefficient R is So when $n_0n_s=n_1^2$, the reflection ...
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2answers
74 views

Shimmering from heated air and the speed of light

A few months back, I was using binoculars to check if my friend was on his boat, which was around 2 to 3 km out to sea from the shoreline where I was standing. The images from, say the sail of the ...
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0answers
20 views

Spherical Aberration Of Electron Lenses

I would like to know why electron lenses can't have negative spherical aberration. Every textbook I have found devotes one or two sentences to saying that Otto Scherzer prooved this 80 years ago, but ...
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1answer
26 views

What wavelength of light is the term 'focal length' defined against? [closed]

Because different wavelengths of light are bent differently in a medium, the focal length ought to be different for each of them (which is why white light splits up into a rainbow). If I have a "25 mm ...
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0answers
24 views

What are the physical optical limitations photonic metamaterials can offer?

Modern technology has introduced new photonic metamaterials that can extend optical properties beyond what standard materials can offer. For example a negative index of refraction is now possible ...
2
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1answer
90 views

If I wear contact lens and spectacles of same power, is it same wearing thick spectacles of twice the lens power?

Assume I have a contact lens of power -1 and a spectacles of +1. Will they cancel out their effect? is it same as my normal eye sight?
6
votes
4answers
132 views

Explanation of Michelson Interferometer Fringe Shift

I have been working on an experiment where 2 glass microscope slides are pinched together at one end (so that there is a "wedge" of air between them) and placed in the path of a laser in one leg of a ...
1
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1answer
65 views

does photon travels in a helical path in an optical vortex?

The wave front of the optical vortex beam is helical. Does it mean that the photon travels in a helical path? When the optical vortex beam is focused on a screen, an annular ring with dark center is ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Conditions for having refractive index less than unity?

Is it possible to have an index of refraction, $n < 1$, giving the "illusion" of a speed greater than $c$. As far as I understand it, is only the phase-velocity (which does not carry any ...
0
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0answers
60 views

How to properly implement Huygen's integral?

I'm really confused by what's happening ... I'm trying to propagate a beam some distance and compare initial and final intensities. Lets say the initial electric field is just cos(200x). I then used ...
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1answer
33 views

Is this picture sign of diffraction? [duplicate]

Please tell me that can it be the sign of diffraction? I mean can diffracted rays make this pattern?
6
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1answer
84 views

How deep is a rainbow?

My cousin shot this photo of a rainbow in front of a mountain. In the picture it is clear that the mountain is behind the rainbow (the rainbow blocks the view of the mountain), whereas the nearby ...
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1answer
47 views

Would the Hubble Space Telescope be of benefit for optical astronomy at Lagrangian L5 point?

The Hubble Space Telescope will enter a decaying orbit in 2024. This is a physics based question, so I don't want to get into the engineering details more than necessary. Just for background, the ...
0
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1answer
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 ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Is local oscillator light polarised?

If a laser is used as a local oscillator in the homodyne setup does this mean the light it produces is polarised? (I am looking at this from the context of quantum physics and random number ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Patterns in a spinning wheel [duplicate]

Why do we see patterns on a rotating wheel with spokes which seem to rotate counterclockwise or clockwise as and when the wheel accelerates or deaccelarates. What I mean is the patterns like this
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1answer
47 views

Textbooks or papers that clearly explain second harmonic generation?

I'm having trouble learning about Second Harmonic Generation. I've found a bunch of sources, but they all seem to expect a fairly advanced level of knowledge about it. For example, in the wiki section ...
14
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2answers
2k views

How to recover an unfocussed image

If the lenses in a camera are not set correctly, the intended subject will be "out of focus" in the resulting image. There seems to be no loss of information here. The photons are just steered to the ...
0
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0answers
14 views

Regenerative Amplifier

I want to ask the questions dedicated Optics (or Laser Physics). What is the difference between laser amplifier and laser regenerative amplifier? What is the average pulse duration of Nd:YAG laser ...
0
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1answer
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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0answers
30 views

Chromatic aberration in human eye [duplicate]

A lens focuses the different colours of white light at different points. Since our eye has a convex lens there should also be such an aberration but we see objects clearly with normal eye. I want to ...
4
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5answers
215 views

What about a surface determines its color?

Light falls on a surface. Some wavelengths get absorbed. The other are reflected. The reflected ones are the colors that we perceive to be of the surface. What is the property that determines, what ...