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 causes refraction of visible light? [duplicate]

Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where its speed is different. The refraction of light when it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light ray toward the ...
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If you “disobey” the constraints of the Kramers-Kronig relations, what happens? Do you get non-physical results?

If you "disobey" the constraints of the Kramers-Kronig relations, what happens? Do you get non-physical results? I am simulating reflection and transmission off/through a slab of material. I specify ...
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368 views

how does a sniper scope work?

How does a sniper rifle scope enables us to pinpoint the exact location even though the lens in situated 5-6 inches above the muzzle. The bullet leaves the muzzle and hits the target exactly where the ...
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90 views

Beam power and electric field after a beam splitter

Consider a beam with power $P_1$ and electric field amplitude $E_{01}$. It is sent through a 50/50 beam splitter that produces beams with power $P_2=P_3=P_1/2$. What are the electric field amplitudes ...
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140 views

Imaginary part of Poynting vector

When I am studying the total reflection phenomenon, I calculated the Poynting vector of the transmitted wave, which can be written as $S_t=A(k_{x}\hat{x}+i\alpha\hat{z})$ A is some constant. I ...
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137 views

How to understand holography and hologram

I've spent some time reading wiki etc. What I get now is that apart from the normal light amplitude information, holograms also record the phase information of light. But this is so difficult for me ...
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34 views

Could a spatial filter improve a heterodyne signal?

Consider two beams of light at slightly difference frequencies that are interfered at a detector. The signal of interest is contained in the phase of the observed signal. As the beams travel around ...
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68 views

Reflection and transmission at an interface with a complex index of refraction — is Jackson wrong?

When you model reflection and transmission at an interface, the meaningful results are the reflection and transmission amplitudes, which are the ratios: $R = \frac{I_{refl}}{I_{inc}}$ and $T = ...
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145 views

Mirrors into Infinity [duplicate]

Could someone please name the phenomenon regarding the stretch of reflections into infinity between two opposing mirrors, and also explain why the reflections curve away instead of meeting at a ...
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1answer
33 views

Pattern in the Michelson Interferometer

I have a question about the Michelson Interferometer with spherical waves: I know that the pattern produced by this kind of waves is a pattern of concentric circles. But what I'm not sure is how the ...
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2answers
347 views

Biconvex vs planoconvex lens

As I understand, less spherical aberration is obtained when a collimated beam is focussed with a planoconvex lens as opposed to a biconvex lens. What would be a situation when a biconvex lens should ...
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186 views

What is the difference between the words transparent and translucent?

Merriam Webster defines transparent as: Having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly. And translucent as: ...
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Basic geometric optics question - how come we don't have to have exact focus to capture objects clearly?

The top frame of the image below shows an image formed on the screen (at right) of an object (pencil on the left) located at some distance $D$ from the lens. The lens focuses all the light rays ...
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44 views

caustics on droplets on glasses formed by streetlights

Suppose you're out at night, and it's rainy, and your glasses are covered by water droplets, and you chance to look at a streetlight. Are the ridged caustics of light seen at the edges of these ...
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490 views

What are virtual objects, Reflection of light? [duplicate]

While studying reflection through a plane mirror, I have been told that when the object is real the image will be virtual and the image will be real while the object is virtual. What are virtual ...
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76 views

Is it possible to extract the index of refraction from reflection/transmission measurements like this?

I'm trying to manipulate some data to see if my analysis method is reliable: I want to use transmission and reflection measurements within a certain wavelength range to get the index of refraction ...
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1answer
51 views

Can alimentary packaging film be used to make a Fabry-Perot interferometer?

An alimentary packaging film consists on a thin plastic layer. If we put two of this films one on the other, could this acts as a Fabry-Perot interferometer? (I don't have the appropriate material at ...
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58 views

Lenses and benefit of exact fourier transform

I have learned in an Optics class that a lens will "compute" the Fourier Transform of an electromagnetic wave passing through it at the focal point behind it (but with a quadratic phase). However, ...
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35 views

How does the atmospheric UVB attenuation of terrestrial planets compare?

On Earth, UVB (280nm - 315nm or 320nm depending on the source) undergoes extensive attenuation through the atmosphere, when observed at the planet's surface, as illustrated below: Image source ...
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67 views

How does one calculate the polarization state of random light after total internal reflection

How does one calculate the polarization state of random light after having been totally reflected by a single dielectric interface? Please consider pure specular reflexions from a plane interface ...
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67 views

Mathematical approaches to atmospheric refraction

Understanding atmospheric refraction, particularly of ultraviolet, and into the blue part of the visible spectrum is of great interest to me. Although, I have a strong background in trigonometry and ...
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39 views

Propagating higher-order Hermite-Gauss modes using the Complex Beam Parameter?

A Gaussian laser beam can be propagated through an optical system (consisting of free space, thin lenses, curved and flat interfaces, etc) by using the "ABCD" ray-transfer matrices, and the complex ...
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49 views

Polarization in Nicol prism

My book reads "When unpolarized light is incident on nicol prism (made of 2 crystals joined by Canada balsam a type of glue) it divides into 2 rays, both rays are plane polarized and electric field ...
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53 views

Beam focused through lens at an angle

Under normal lens operation, a beam is sent through the centre of the lens along the optical axis (ie perpendicular to the lens's plane). What happens when a beam is sent through a lens at an angle to ...
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175 views

How to optically rotate images in small increments (for eyeglasses)?

As the result of an accident, one or more nerves that control the rotation of my left eye were damaged. The result is that my left eye views the world rotated clockwise several degrees, compared to my ...
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109 views

Can't understand the principle of least action [closed]

I tried many hours to understand the principle of least action, and those hours become days... and I still didn't understand that principle/ and how it relates to Newtonian mechanics? Could someone ...
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34 views

Determine laser cavity modal content from beating / interference?

I'm trying to better understand the modal content and dynamics of laser cavities. I'm specifically interested in mode-locking, although this question is pretty general and applies to CW lasers too. I ...
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51 views

Capture reflecting image

Suppose you have following installation: ...
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27 views

periodicity of diffraction gratings

Imagine we have a diffraction grating consisting of N slits (being N very large) with a separation of "d" from slit to slit. Now, we could regard this grating as a diffraction grating constructed by ...
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149 views

holographic projection in thin air?

from where I come from ,they taught us in high school that it is possible to project holograms in thin air simply by illuminating the hologram with the "correct light" , and having a semi transparent ...
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148 views

Partially polarized light with jones vectors?

I have read that polarized light is treated by Jones vectors and that to treat partially polarized light you have to use Stokes vectors and mueller matrices. Nonetheless, the optics notes that my ...
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35 views

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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Do gravitational lenses have a focus point?

Do gravitational lenses have a focus point? Could I burn space ants?
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68 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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94 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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96 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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50 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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47 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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44 views

How to explain polarization in Zeeman effect

In the Zeeman effect, when we observe along the $B$ field, the polarization of light should be circular polarized. It can be understood by the conservation of angular momentum. $\Delta m=0$ can not be ...
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115 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
118 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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26 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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46 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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56 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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92 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
45 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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58 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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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
67 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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91 views

Newton's rings experiment

I have performed experiments in my college laboratory on Newton's rings to find radius of curvature of a convex lens used.i always get a dark center.Is it possible to get a bright center?If yes,then ...