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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Will a prism widen a monochromatic beam?

The representation of the experiment which demonstrates that white light consists of many colors, invariably shows that the beam of white light is broadened inside the prism and is some what more ...
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182 views

Are the fast axes on Thorlabs quarter-waveplates mislabeled?

Some members of my lab are performing a polarization-sensitive experiment where they need to use a quarter-waveplate (QWP) with the fast axis in a specific direction. In the process of carefully ...
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1answer
34 views

Twinkling in sunlight reflections

A question that covers optics and possibly biology/physiology: looking out my window, I see the Sun reflecting off car windshields in a distant parking lot. The very bright reflections are distinctly ...
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1answer
54 views

Phase and amplitude information of an image

By applying Fourier Transform to an image we can get its magnitude as well as phase spectrum. A magnitude spectrum describes how various frequencies are attenuated and accentuated in that image but ...
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2answers
63 views

Can I use one convex lens to create a telescope?

Is it possible to create a telescope with only one convex lens? Specifically, is the image I drew below possible? (This was supposed to be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise.) In this picture, ...
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1answer
97 views

Image Reconstruction:Phase vs. Magnitude

Figure 1.(c) shows the Test image reconstructed from MAGNITUDE spectrum only. We can say that the intensity values of LOW frequency pixels are comparatively more than HIGH frequency pixels. $$ ...
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2answers
100 views

At Interfaces Does Light Have to Accelerate?

First, I'm not sure if photons have to "get up to" the speed of light, or if they are thrown into existence at that speed. I know that they should just be generated moving at their speed, and I know ...
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2answers
28 views

Thin Lens Methods and Object Perceived vs Literal Size

When using the ray trace methodology to solve a given thin lens question, does the arrow (commonly used as the example object when tracing) represent the literal height of the object or the perceived ...
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28 views

Bandpass of diffraction grating - exit slit width?

I'm supposed to derive a relation for the range of wavelengths that's being transmitted by a spectrometer (bandpass) in terms of the dispersion, focal length and exit slit width. Given grating is ...
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1answer
64 views

Helicopter blades

Why do the propellers on helicopter appear to be so slow when the propellers is going at full speed? Can you please explain this particular optical illusion to me?
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9 views

Conjugated-Phase Matching

I am working on imaging applications of phase-conjugation in optics, in particular phase-conjugation imaging from recorded holograms. I have found several useful sources, but I cannot find a book ...
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1answer
44 views

Thin Film Interference in Fluid Dynamics: Many are welcome to throw ideas in here, Please!

It was a few days ago, and there was a very heavy storm(currents were flowing beside the sidewalks as normal). I became intrigued by a thin film of gasoline that got caught in one of the currents. The ...
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1answer
52 views

Is this a photograph of Surface Plasmon Resonance?

Does this photograph depict surface plasmon resonance? PHOTO 1 - Ellipsometric style photograph produces blue-green and purple resonance waves from nanogold-like tubule. PHOTO 1 was cropped from ...
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1answer
56 views

Placing a lens in front of ultraviolet femtosecond laser with 10e38 J in pulse makes it a gun that fires microscopic black holes at speed of light?

I calculated that in the focal spot of such a laser the critical energy density would be met. Will these black holes really move at the speed of light, just as the the photons that made them? The ...
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1answer
126 views

How to transform material permittivity tensor from Cartesian coordinates to another orthogonal coordinate system?

I have a material specified by a permittivity tensor written in Cartesian coordiantes: $$\begin{pmatrix} \epsilon_{xx} & \epsilon_{xy} & \epsilon_{xz}\\ \epsilon_{yx} &\epsilon_{yy} ...
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26 views

How to isolate and verify the source of optical absorption/effects?

This is similar to my other question, but not the same -- that one was about the energy ranges of various absorption mechanisms, and this one is more about experimental techniques to find them. Let's ...
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0answers
76 views

Determining diameter of effective image circle of large lens in a Camera Obscura

I am in the process of gathering materials and designing a large lensed Camera Obscura. I would like to estimate the approximate diameter of the image circle and the approximate field of view. in ...
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1answer
122 views

Creating large aspheric lens profile for CNC cutting out of Acrylic plastic for huge Camera Obscura

I plan to use a CNC mill to cut a plano-convex aspheric lens from a large (300mm dia) thick(30mm) block of Acrylic (PMMA/Plexiglass). I need a focal length on the order of 800-2000mm The purpose of ...
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1answer
51 views

Real limits on the maximum obtainable resolution of an optical system

The maximum obtainable angular resolution of an optical system with some given aperture is well known, but it seems to me that this isn't a real theoretical limit. The assumption is that you are going ...
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35 views

Jacobian of a transformation on Maxwell equations in cylindrical coordinates

In an area called transformation optics, they transform Maxwell equations from one space coordinate system to another, and then using the fact that Maxwell equations retain the same format under ...
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1answer
128 views

Is this a photograph of an electron-positron annihilation? [closed]

With degrees in Mechanical and Electrical engineering but no advanced education in physics, I submit a query based on ellipsometric macro photography of TEMS supplied by FDA/NIH. In one TEM a ...
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0answers
53 views

Fabry Perot Etalon - changing wavelength and plate distance

Given reflectivity $R = 0.75$, an etalon is used as an interference filter, transmitting light of wavelength $4.3\mu m$ at normal incidence. The full width half maximum is about $\Delta \lambda = 0.2 ...
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2answers
68 views

Image formation at surface of water

Consider a lake full of water which has an object immersed in it. Now, if an observer was at the surface at a sufficient distance so that the light ray from the object is internally reflected, should ...
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3answers
853 views

reflection at intersection of 2 mirrors

Consider 2 mirrors which intersect at an angle. If we draw a light ray intersecting the mirrors at their point of intersection, how will it reflect? What will be the normal at that point?
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1answer
71 views

How can results from classical optics be obtained from QFT?

Recently it came to my mind, that I have some basic knowledge about QFT and know im principle how to calculate scattering amplitudes (at least for the $\phi^4$-theory), but have no idea how to ...
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0answers
76 views

group velocity in non dispersive medium

In a non-dispersion medium, phase velocity is equal to group velocity of waves. Consider a free quantum particle moving in one dimension say $\text{x}$ axis. There would be matter waves associated ...
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32 views

Using Optic Lens to Simulate Distance

I have an actual scenario, where I have to align a particular electronic optical device to two objects in the distance (2-3 km away), forming a right angle at the point where the optical device is. ...
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1answer
63 views

Differences between absorption, transparency, reflection, and emission

Can someone help me conceptualize the differences between a photon's involvement with absorption, transparency, reflection, and emission? To be more specific, my current understanding of the matter ...
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35 views

Quick question on convolution - Diffraction through a pair of slits

We know that the fourier transform of the amplitude function (in terms of $y$) gives you the amplitude function (in terms of $\theta$) Consider a pair of triangular slits: Fourier transform of ...
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1answer
30 views

Optics, What is a Foil?

I was using a program for simulating optical elements; mirrors, gratings, foils, crystals, slits, and zoneplates are what it mentioned. Does anyone know what a foil is in terms of optics? I know what ...
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1answer
72 views

Why does silver have such a strong UV resonance compared to other metals?

Related: Why did high quality mirrors use aluminum coatings instead of silver? After reading Chris White’s and LDC3’s comments in the above related link, it got me wondering about silver’s atomic ...
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2answers
82 views

Analytically transform a spherical wave into a planar one

Is it possible to transform a light spherical wave front or another wave front with a known behaviour into a planar one? Say I have the position of a point light source, and I can approximate it by ...
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6answers
3k views

Why did high quality mirrors use aluminum coatings instead of silver?

I have two questions on mirrors. I’ve read that in the past quality mirrors were coated with silver but that today vacuum evaporated coatings of aluminum are the accepted standard. When I look at ...
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1answer
29 views

Why do pores make ceramic opaque?

I want to know how a ceramic transparency is mostly affected by the pores, grain boundary, second phases etc. present inside of it, but the major contribution is due to the pores. Let's consider the ...
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2answers
104 views

Observer looking out through the window of a train [duplicate]

When travelling by a train, it seems that the nearby objects move in the opposite direction(which I can explain) but the distant objects appear stationary. I can't explain this. By the concept of ...
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1answer
28 views

Optical Waveguides with grating

I have some problems about mode analysis in grating-coupled waveguides,Would you please introduce me a useful book about wave propagation in these structures.
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1answer
86 views

Omega-frequency or pulsation?

I'm reading a book about optics in English. However, I speak a different language and have a problem with distinction. What does $\omega$ mean? $\omega=1/T$ or $\omega=2\pi/T$ What is the ...
3
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3answers
161 views

Why is the phase velocity used in the definition of the refractive index?

I'm aware of the so-called group index but why is the phase velocity used in the standard definition of the index of refraction? What advantage does this offer?
5
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2answers
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A photon travels in space for 10 billion years. What are the odds it will arrive here without interacting with a atom on the way?

Space isn't a perfect vacuum and I wonder how an image of a galaxy can travel billions of years without becoming diffused by photon collisions with space matter?
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9 views

Why are the bounds to the permittivity $\epsilon$ a circular arc in the complex plane?

I'm reading this paper which is essentially about connecting the complex permittivity $\epsilon$ with the microstructure of a thin film. They talk about how you can place limits on the possible values ...
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0answers
84 views

Reflection & Transmission curves of waveguides

I have simulated a grating-coupled waveguide in Comsol Multiphysics, the waveguide consists of 2 dielectric layers and air as the cover of waveguide. I have excited the modes of this structure by a ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does one get an illusion as moon following him?

When you run or ride bike at night if you observe the moon you feel like he moves along with you as the same speed you are going. Why?
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51 views

Light, Fourier Transforms, Spherical Harmonics

Mathematically, I'm having trouble understanding where we can use what with light. I read somewhere on this site that Huygen's Principle is effectively just taking an expansion of a wave onto the ...
3
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1answer
113 views

Covering centeremost slit of a N slit diffraction grating - what happens?

For an N-slit diffraction grating, the distance from a maxima to a minima at order p is given by $$\delta \theta = \frac{\lambda}{Np}$$ What happens to this width when the centremost $\frac{N}{2}$ ...
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60 views

How to specify BRDF measurement

As a person who will be using the scattering measurement results (in Zemax), I was asked to prepare the specs for the BRDF measurement. However I've never done it until now, so help would be greatly ...
3
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2answers
84 views

Conservation of energy (or lack thereof) in Doppler cooling [duplicate]

I did not find my question answered elsewhere, so here it is. I'm doing a project in my first optics course, and we are reading a bit about Doppler cooling. I understand that a laser is tuned to a ...
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1answer
99 views

Geometric optics- Sign conventions

Why do we need to use the sign convention again in the mirror equation while solving numericals when we know we have already used a convention while deriving the mirror equation? The question is not ...
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0answers
44 views

Polarizing beam splitter

I'm searching for basic literature or papers introducing the action of polarizing beam splitters with single photons. Unfortunately the most books and papers only focus on usual beam splitters. The ...
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62 views

Blonde hair looking green at certain angle

I have a friend who has blonde hair. And when look at an oblique angle, there's a tinge of light green in her hair. I've heard that the copper ion in pool water can make blonde hair green, but her ...
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Direct optical observation of the Arago spot: what would one see?

The Arago/Poisson spot is an excellent example of a constructive interference of diffracted light. In the traditional experimental layout, you observe projected light on the screen. The theory in this ...