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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Why the image is being formed at the surface?

Last week I encountered a very cool optical phenomenon. A photo was sandwiched between the two glass plate to make the paperweight. The cool part is the picture seems to have been pasted on the top ...
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113 views

How I can launch light into PM fiber

A polarization maintaining fiber preserves the linear polarization of the light at the output, the light at the input must be linear polarized to see signal at the photodetector... However I can't see ...
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How does light manage to change its course at the boundary of two media of different optical densities?

This is a conceptual question. I already know the law of refraction but I need something like an idea of the Physical process from both particle and wave theory standpoints. Why does a ray of light ...
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Why is forward brillouin scattering difficult to observe?

Generally we talk of only the backward Brillouin scattering. And I just know forward scattering is difficult to observe? Why is it so? Does it have something to do with phonon life time? Is it ...
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61 views

Optical system for cloning an image of a light source?

I need to create an optical system for cloning an image of a light source to human eyes. Is there a correct solution(design) for this problem. Reflectivity of the mirrors must be equal. Because ...
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61 views

Single particle passing through the double slit at a time [duplicate]

In modern experiments, With the classical setup of photons or electrons passing through double slit, the intensity is kept extremely low, such that one can detect a single particle passing through ...
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How to interpret single photon interference when the two possible paths are different in length?

Here is my question. I struggle with the definition of single photon interference. Let’s assume we have a Michelson interferometer and the interference pattern we observe is a single photon result, ...
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39 views

What is the formula of power of an optical instrument?

I have searched and found that the power of a lens, with surrounding medium of refractive index $n$, is $n/f$ where $f$ is the focal length, the formula is $$n/f=(n'-n)/R1 + (n-n')/R2.$$ But in my ...
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28 views

Point Spread Function of a Complicated Optical System

suppose I image a point source using a single lens, then at its focus (image plain) I'll get a spot resembling a Fourier transform of the point. As far as I know, that is defined to be the lens's PSF. ...
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About Powell lens

I am a Post graduation student and I am doing a project on the conversion of a Gaussian beam into a flat top beam using optical components. I have found that the best component to do the same is a ...
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What is the maximum of information in a beam of light?

If I look at the space I can see the Andromeda Galaxy as a small dot in the sky. If I look through a telescope, I can see the spiral shape. If the saw right through a huge telescope, I could see a ...
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48 views

Fringe Localisation

How am I to understand where the fringes of a given setup are localised? For example, Young's double slits have non-localised fringes, that is the fringes are localised (and so are well formed) at ...
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Usefulness of half-shade in Laurent half-shade polarimeter

In the Laurent half-shade polarimeter, if the half-shade weren't there, what difference would it make? The light after being polarized by the Nicol polarizer,could have entered the tube containing the ...
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What is incorrect about the original statement of Fermat's principle?

Here are some statements about Fermat's Principle taken from Eugene Hecht's Optics book. The original statement of Fermat's Principle : "The actual path between two points taken by a ray of light is ...
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Absortion of light by a plasma

Considering a plasma generated in a fixed volume by increasing the temperature of Helium gas from the environment temperature (this temperature is not stated) and an initial presure of 0.001 Torr, to ...
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What is angular accelerating light?

As described in this article "Our angular accelerating fields rely on combinations of orbital angular momentum - so-called twisted light," says Forbes. Light carrying orbital angular momentum ...
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77 views

Making a bright beam of artificial white light

For educational purposes, is there a way to make a narrow bright beam of white light without much equipment and without using the sun as the source? The collimated beam should be about 2 mm wide for ...
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53 views

Would an inverted design of a laser phosphor display (LPD) work?

Background info... It is my understanding that a laser phosphor display works by emitting RGB laser beams through a mechanism that cycles them in a pattern similar to a cathode ray tube. When I read ...
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Rayleigh scattering question

Usually from books, Rayleigh scattering only refers to the light scattering by neutral atoms or molecules. For example if I want to measure temperature or number density in combustion using Rayleigh ...
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28 views

Criterion for resolvability and spot size for optical systems

Look at the following table: By spot size I mean if we have a point source for the object, the angular radius of the spot created by the source as viewed in the image plane. My question is is all ...
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Fraunhofer Diffraction and Lenses

Suppose we have the diffraction pattern for a single slit in the Fraunhofer approximation. In order to see this diffraction patter at finite distance we locate a converging lens. Is the diffraction ...
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191 views

By what maximum amount can we concentrate sunlight?

This refers to a previous question re: Solar Cell Systems and as part of the answer the statement: If we concentrated sunlight to [the] maximum amount 42600× was given. My questions are: By what ...
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211 views

Increasing the efficiency of solar cell systems

As far as I know, there are currently two main approaches to utilising solar radiation for maximum energy conversion to electricity. These are either direct conversion to electricity, using ...
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29 views

Fabry-Perot Spectroscopy

Suppose you have a source of variable wavelength, and you are sweeping the wavelength while monitoring transmission through a Fabry-Perot cavity at normal incidence? What (qualitatively) could you ...
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49 views

Rayleigh length determination for Laguerre-Gaussian Modes

Recently I have measured the Rayleigh length of a Gaussian electron beam probe in a scanning electron microscope, using the function: $$w(z) = w_0 \times \sqrt{1 + (z/z_r)^2}$$ Where $w$ is beam ...
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How to calculate the focal length of spherical shell (zero meniscus lens)

I can get my head around the optics of a spherical shell (a meniscus lens that neither diverge nor converge, being neither positive nor negative etc). I don’t see how I can describe in a formula how ...
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Phase change by reflection [duplicate]

Let's consider a light ray falling on a cuboid made of glass at the angle $\alpha$. Then there will be a reflected ray $A$. The ray will also refract. Let the refracted ray be $B$. Ray $B$ will be ...
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Determining the focal length of a gradient index lens

There are three subquestions in this question, all marked bold. Let's consider a planoconvex gradient index lens of thickness $d$, radius $R$ whose refractive index changes with the distance from ...
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image transmission through waveguides

in general optics we study the transmission of image information through lenses, basically governed by Fourier optics laws. how can images be transmitted through waveguides at smaller propagation ...
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Calculating the beating length of the directional coupler

I want to determine the coupling length needed to achieve a certain power coupling coefficient of a directional coupler. Recently, I read a paper titled "Ultra-compact high order ring resonator ...
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73 views

Why do snorkelers not need to wear corrective glasses when snorkeling with goggles on?

I am myopic ~ -2.75 sph +1cyl. When I went snorkeling they tell you not to wear glasses behind the goggles. Surprisingly, underwater, things remain in focus with goggles on even without prescription ...
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Determining the refractive index of a foil

(59th Polish Olympiad in Physics, final stage, experimental part, 2010) You have at your disposal: a sample of blue foil of a homogeneous material, placed between two glass panes in a ...
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What will my diamond fibre shirt look like?

So, during an idle moment when I mused that our experimental setup would be a lot less hassle if it was made from a 1kg single crystal of diamond, this thought occurred to me... Since single crystal ...
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What is the “Obscuration Factor (OBF)”?

In a paper I am reading for my master thesis I came across this "obscuration factor (OBF)". The authors indicate that it is a measurement of the average intensity of reflection. They do not give a ...
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Design process of directional coupler

I know that when two wavegudies are brought sufficiently close enough, the electromagnetic fields overlap and light can be coupled from one waveguide to the other. However, how to calculate the ...
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Why is there a negative sign in front of the optical wave?

In undergrad I lost (a lot) of marks in my optics class for writing: $$A(t) = \exp(i(\omega t + \phi))$$ Instead of: $$A(t) = \exp(i(-\omega t + \phi))$$ In a derivation where I must have needed ...
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Interference and windows

The other day i was learning about interference patterns with the effect of a bubble making a rainbow on the surface. I learned that the reflections from both sides of the soap can interfere ...
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What's the difference between on-axis and peak intensity for a Gaussian beam?

I am asked to find the ratio of the on axis intensity at z=zR (Rayleigh range) to the peak intensity, given that the Gaussian beam solution is: ε(ρ,z) = ε0 (ω0 / ω) exp(ikρ^2 / 2R) exp(-ρ^2 / ω^2) ...
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Path length requirement for diffraction problem [closed]

The following question has been asked in a problem sheet I have been asked to answer: "The above diagram relates to the path lengths of radiation, with an angle of incidence, θ, reflecting off ...
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Color of objects in Yellow sun

The sun appears yellow but the objects on the earth appear as if they have been illuminated in white light. Are all objects that we see in sunlight actually in a yellow shade, and would appear ...
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Could satellites achieve orbit using current laser technology

My question is, could we, using current laser technology sufficiently scaled up, launch a lightweight, say a GPS navigation satellite, into earth orbit? The main objection to me is maintaining the ...
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Florescents and radio waves

Okay so if you put a florescent light bulb in front of a certain radio, the radio waves excite the mercury inside a causes them to emit UV light which makes the outer coating of the light bulb light ...
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Compact Disc Optics - Why use a linear polariser and a quarter wave plate?

I just came across this website about the application of a quarter wave plate. Link: Compact Disc Optics. My question is why does the beam need to be linearly and then circularly polarised before ...
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A lens with a variable refractive index

(60th Polish Olympiad in Physics) A planoconvex lens of radius of curvature $R$ and thickness $d$ (on the optical axis) is made of a material, whose refractive index changes with the distance from ...
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Liquids that change refractive index with magnetic fields

I am trying to find out liquids that would change their refractive index with applied electromagnetic field. Do they exist? I cannot seem to find a lot of research on it. A super basic example is ...
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Why subwavelength objects can not be seen with optical microscope?

What would happen if we would take a very small sphere around 200nm diameter and try to detect it from the most efficient optical microscope? Technically, the Rayleigh diffraction limit prevents the ...
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Metal Refractive index

I'm working on Fresnel equation for calculation of reflection of a light (532 nm) on Iron. I've got a question: Is metals refractive index always a real number or it can be a complex number?
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Cumulative Aberrations of Two or More Lenses

Suppose I have two lenses, and I can analyze and determine the Zernike aberrations coefficients of both lenses together in a given setup, and also the coefficients of one of the lenses seperately. ...
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Diffraction in Circle of light? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project that refers to optics. the question says when a laser beam is aimed to a wire ( perpendicular to the surface ), a circle of light then will be seen on a the surface. I somehow ...
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Model of scattering in wet things

You know that clothes and some surfaces become darker when wet (covered in an earlier question: why wet is dark?), because of the disordered reflections or of the refractive index of water or ...