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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Electro-Optics, Where to Start Studying

I have an opportunity for pursuing my Doctoral studies in a Electro-Optics domain. I have been chosen because I fulfilled the other criteria to secure the opportunity. I still have quite a lot of time ...
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Why diffraction is related to wavelength not amplitude

For diffraction, the wavelength of the incident beam should be in range magnitude of the slit length, but why the amplitude is not related to the length of the slit?
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40 views

A very basic question about optics and figuring out focal length

Focal Length of a lens - I was told that as an approximation I could simply put a sheet of paper with text on it on a table, hold the lens above it, and when I can see the text most clearly, the ...
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Why does Threshold current of laser increase with the increase in temperature?

Why does Threshold current of laser increase with the increase in temperature? I know that at the same current level, the power is higher at lower temperature but why?
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How do I derive Sommerfeld's solution of the case when the incident ray is aimed obliquely to the edge of the screen?

I already know that the Sommerfeld's solution to this problem is conical. But internet does not show me the simple of exact derivation of this solution. How do I solve this problem?
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1answer
127 views

Apparent depth and virtual image position

Why does the virtual image appear right on top of the object and not a little to the right, for example? Is it explained by some formula or just symmetry of the geometry?
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82 views

Why does black glass reflect better than white one?

Why does black glass reflect better than white glass? Both of them are glasses, so they reflect light. But why black glass reflects better? See below, shiny black glass.
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1answer
68 views

Spatial coherence of SLED light (width of active region?)

As far as I know, super-luminescent diodes (a.k.a. SLEDs) have a very similar structure to laser diodes, except that the front faces of the active region are tilted to prevent the sort of reflections ...
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82 views

How do you calculate the focal point location of a circular mirror? [closed]

I'm trying to find the focal point and center of curvature of a concave mirror. Just using the radius for the center doesn't seem to work. I know C = 2f, but I'm not sure how to find f or C, given the ...
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1answer
99 views

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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78 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
63 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
98 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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77 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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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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1answer
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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219 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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1answer
79 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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213 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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80 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
86 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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40 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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47 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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2answers
51 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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42 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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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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115 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
106 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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83 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
406 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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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
153 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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102 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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259 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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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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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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53 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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62 views

Simple thermodynamic proof that light from a source cannot be focused to heat an object above the source's temperature

I was thinking about the question in the title. I found the following thread, and some of the answers are making my head spin! Is it possible to focus the radiation from a black body to make ...
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2answers
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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3answers
75 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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195 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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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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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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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 ...