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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Snell's law demonstration

I'm a bit confused about a Snell's law demonstration. I'm reading Communication Systems from W. Tomasi. In the chapter 11, the author applies the Snell's law to θent, and -here comes my problem- he ...
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73 views

How to improve the visibility of light without increasing the brightness?

I am not sure whether or not this is the right SE site to post this question on but I'm sure someone will inform me of my mistake soon enough if it is wrong. Basically I am an Electronic Engineer and ...
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1answer
62 views

Problem with Beam Splitter Refraction

I made a beam splitter for a simple test, as shown in the images below: This was my expected ray trace: But it instead refracted light like this: Why did the splitter cause light to ...
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2answers
93 views

Does a laser beam have to hit the eyes in order to damage them?

Does a laser beam have to hit the eyes in order to damage them? Or can a persons eyes get damaged by looking at a beam that goes past their eyes (e.g. looking at a laser beam moving inside an ...
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76 views

Why is wax brighter? [closed]

How can wax be normally darker than paper (absorb more light) but apart of light be lighter (let more light go)?
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1answer
57 views

What are the common points between physical optics and geometric optics? [closed]

I am trying to write a paper about light, I want to discuss the two way of studying light, the physical/wave optics and the geometric/ray optics, but I want to write a general introduction about them, ...
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63 views

How to propagate a planar e/m field in free space using plane waves?

I read this great answer to this question: Numerical software to manipulate a light beam in its plane wave representation? The main thing that I am trying to clear in my head is the following: ...
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215 views

Wavelength used in manufacturing of integrated circuits (IC)

How is it that the silicon ICs industry can burn ICs of a dozen nanometers using photolytography with UV laser of about 193 nanometers? Since the gates are smaller than the wavelength, for example ...
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70 views

How we can calculate the elements of the Mueller matrix?

Disregarding coherent wave superposition, any fully polarized, partially polarized, or unpolarized state of light can be represented by a Stokes vector; and any optical element can be represented by a ...
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50 views

Does the anisotropic Fermat eikonal equation predict the extraordinary ray direction given by Poynting vector?

Does the anisotropic Fermat eikonal equation predict the extraordinary ray direction given by Poynting vector?
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2answers
208 views

How we see laser light if it travels in a straight path? [duplicate]

Light travels in straight path, and our eyes detects an object's reflected light then we see the object. So if laser light is going in a straight path, how come we can see laser light?
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2answers
78 views

how to trace light after refraction by a camera lens?

I am a programmer and I am doing a camera simulation, I am stuck in a matter of how to know where arrives every ray of light after traveling through the lens and being refracted. Every point of the ...
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1answer
81 views

Optics: how can I see 180 degree relative phase shift between internally and externally reflected light?

Guys this is an example from chapter 4.3 of Hecht's Optics. Top picture shows a light beam moving through a glass medium The second picture shows that when the glass medium is cut into two halves ...
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39 views

faraday's rotation for revealing hidden text

I'm trying to come up with a twist on the known faraday's rotation experiment involving a laser projecting into a polarizer. the polarized light then passes in a selenoid containing a glass rod. the ...
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0answers
46 views

Images formed by concave mirror of objects placed between center and focus do not end up as expected

I am more involved with mechanics at this moment, but my sister in 7th grade pointed out that when objects placed in between center and focus of a concave mirror are 'too big' the simple two ray ...
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1answer
24 views

No restoring force in atoms of gas of free electrons (as we have in the upper atmosphere)

While reading about the dependence of wavelength on refractive index, we assume an atom model where atoms stick to their mean position and they are disturbed by the applied electric field causing a ...
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50 views

When does a monochromatic beam of light on a reflective surface get completely transmitted?

My book says when when a monochromatic beam of light is normally incident on reflective surface it gets completely transmitted. I am bit confused could you explain me?
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41 views

What polarizes a rainbow?

What polarizes the light from a rainbow. I already did some search and couldn't get a clear answer. All I could find was the light is polarized on the direction light is entering. What happens to the ...
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2answers
28 views

Calculating the Poynting vector

Why is the equation $S=...=\frac{1}{\mu_0 c}E_0^2=\epsilon_0 c E_0^2$ accurate? Shouldn't it be $\epsilon_0 c^2 E_0^2$ instead, since $c=\frac{1}{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}$...
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113 views

How does one align a laser using two adjustable mirrors?

Suppose we would like to get a laser beam to pass through a particular point in space in a particular direction. At our disposal we have a laser, two adjustable mirrors (can rotate up/down and ...
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2answers
92 views

Capturing a light beam

For a given container made of an extremely reflective surface, is it possible to shine a beam of light in, and with no 'fiddling' (i.e. closing the hole, tilting the object) to contain the beam for an ...
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3answers
100 views

When does the wagon-wheel effect occur?

Sometimes you see a video of a fan or a propeller spinning very fast, and the apparent rotation is distorted. The fan can appear to be moving in the opposite direction of rotation, or even stationary. ...
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200 views

Microtops sunphotometer sun target optics

For atmospheric radiation observations, a portable piece of equipment such as the Microtops sunphotometer (pictured below) is useful. Image source: Solar Light However, while I can borrow this ...
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79 views

Law of reflection for a moving mirror

An elementary fact that people learn about mirrors is the law of reflection, that the angle of incidence of a light beam striking the mirror (as measured with respect to a normal) equals the angle of ...
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1answer
390 views

How does reflection of light at normal incidence angle happen?

I was wondering few scenarios pertaining about reflection of light at a normal incidence angle (perpendicular to the mirror) in that case how can a wave-of-light reflect of? As the reflected waves ...
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1answer
47 views

Length of Focal Spot Along the Optic Axis

I am currently attempting a physics question on optics. A Fresnel Zone Plate has overall radius a and contains N half-period zones. The odd-numbered zones are open but the even -numbered zones are ...
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40 views

Limitations of (non-lightfield) near-eye displays

The answer to Is it possible to blur an image in such way that a person with sight problems could see it sharp? suggest that you cannot present a "counter blurred" out-of-focus image such that it ...
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Possibility of making an experiment in a classroom to simulate DNA diffraction

I am a TA in a structural chemistry class. The professor want me to show students how Watson and Crick determined the structure of DNA from X-ray diffraction results of DNA crystals. The professor ...
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1answer
149 views

How to convert candela into joule?

How to convert candela into joule? What equation can we use? Is this site useful? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photometry_%28optics%29
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2answers
97 views

How to treat partially polarized light with Jones vectors?

I have to calculate the degree of s-polarization (perpendicular) of a transmitted unpolarised light ray when it goes through a glass plate ($n=1.5$) at Brewster's angle (Brewster's window). ...
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3answers
229 views

Do infrared lamps provide more heat than incandescent lamps?

Infrared lamps seem to be used in situations where you want to produce heat without producing (as much) light. But incandescent bulbs also produce heat. Why not just use incandescent bulbs? My ...
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35 views

What does it mean for a Fresnel lens to have two finite conjugates?

I'm in a situation where I need to reverse engineer a product that my company already manufactures and sells, but it wasdesigned too long ago for anyone to remember. It uses a Fresnel lens with the ...
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1answer
124 views

How would a fractal refract light?

A fanciful Pink Floyd reference has led me to wonder what white light passing through an object with an infinitely complex surface would do. Would it exit from a single chaotically-chosen point on the ...
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1answer
52 views

How does airborne laser system deflect the laser beam?

In the Airborne Laser system, the laser beam is directed from the nose of a Boeing airplane towards the target. In this system, the angle of laser beam with respect to airplane body can be changed at ...
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85 views

Solution of one dimensional wave equation by variable separation method

When solving the One dimensional wave equation by variable separable method, we equate left-hand side and right-hand side to a constant which is negative in nature. Why has the constant be only ...
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74 views

Does polarization remove any of the fields completely?

A light is made up of electric and magnetic fields oriented perpendicular to each other. Can polarization lead to the removal of any of the fields completely?
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3answers
181 views

What does amplitude in wavelength of light physically mean?What oscilates with time in photon?

Like amplitude in wavelength of water waves signify the displacement of water particles about their mean position.
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3answers
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How does light speed up after coming out of a glass slab?

As I learned today in School, my teacher told me that when light enters a Glass Slab it slows down due to the change in density and it speeds up as it goes out of the Glass Slab. This causes a lateral ...
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2answers
36 views

How are different wavelength components collected by the same detector in a spectrometer?

Let's think, we have a detector array (128x1 and each CMOS detector responds 400 to 1000 nm TSL1401CL that way, each detector has 4.6875 nm interval). Then, basically in a spectrometer a prism reflect ...
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1answer
91 views

Does irregular reflection form images?

In one of my test papers at school, we had a true-false question which said "Irregular reflection can form an image." I marked it true, however I was not given any marks for the question. I asked my ...
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1answer
92 views

Resolving power of ultra-telescopes [duplicate]

Assuming we could create and orbit optical telescopes of arbitrary size, perhaps starting with (say) inflatables or active membrane of 100m diameter what kind of resolution in imaging extra-solar ...
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36 views

Why is responsivity quoted as a figure of merit?

Lately I have been investigating the physics literature on proposed photosensitive electronic devices made of graphene. Often I see responsivity values quoted as if they suppossed to impress, and ...
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160 views

Ways to measure the focal length of a convex lens with only natural sun light [closed]

What are the common ways to measure the focal length of a convex lens with only natural sun light?
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1answer
39 views

How to propagate a (tilted) gaussian beam through a telecentric f-theta-lens

My questions has two parts: First of all let's assume I have a gaussian beam and I send it through a telecentric f-$\theta$-lens (e.g. http://specialoptics.com/products/scanning_confocal.html) with ...
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1answer
77 views

Fresnel lens/kinoform: How to model diffraction at the edges of zones?

I would like to find the intensity distribution of light due to the diffraction at the edges of zones on Fresnel lenses or kinoforms. (That is, location of orders, heights of maxima, etc.) I can't ...
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3answers
70 views

Mirrors and the human eye

Not sure if this is a suitable question for this exchange. Me and a friend are debating what can be seen through a periscope consisting only of two 45 degree mirrors. My friend tells me that the ...
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14 views

What curved, transparent media exists for full-motion holograms?

Looking to project light either on, or through, but not from, a transparent medium. So I'm thinking of half a hollow sphere with a surface thickness of 1/10th the radius of sphere. A clear curved ...
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36 views

How to choose a type of a lens for a particular optical component?

With almost no experience in optics, I am trying to create a system that looks something like that: The idea is to be able to focus the parallel wide beam (shown in broken line between lens 214 and ...
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128 views

Is the kinetic energy of an electron always $1.6 \cdot 10^{-19}~\text{J}$?

I was doing the following problem. For $d$. They bizarrely added an extra step. They calculated the momentum of the electron to find the De Broglie wavelength using the kinetic energy relationship. ...
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Fresnel equations of reflection applied to microparticles

I wanted to know if the Fresnel equations of reflection, as described here, can be used to calculate the reflectance on the interface of particles which have a diameter near the size of the wavelength ...