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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Intensity fluctuations at the output of a single mode fiber coupled to a He Ne laser

I have coupled a Thorlabs HNL050L-EC - HeNe, 632.8 nm, 5 mW, Polarized Laser to a 2 meter long single mode fiber patch chord using a Thorlabs F230-FC-B aspheric lens. While I am certainly able to ...
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3answers
382 views

Light's inverse square law: Does it require a minimum distance from the source?

Does the inverse square law begin to take effect the moment light leaves its source? For example, does light's intensity decrease, i.e. does the area in which the photons might land increase, at a few ...
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3answers
253 views

Fringe Width and Spacing and Number of Slits in Diffraction Experiments

In a single slit experiment, the fringes are not equally spaced and aren’t of equal widths—the central maximum is the widest, the secondary maxima grow narrower and narrower outward, and the minima ...
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21 views

Diffraction and wavelength

Why is that when the slit-width is much larger compared to the wavelength of light, there is no diffraction? And why is that the diffraction effects are visible only when the width is of the order of ...
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2answers
781 views

Magnification in compound microscope

I was studying about compound microscope here I don't see why we multiply linear magnification of objective with angular magnification of eyepiece. Shouldn't it be both angular or both linear? Can ...
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1answer
16 views

Actual spot size = geometric spot size + diffraction spot size?

I read in [1] that for a camera obscura the total spot diameter is equal to the diameter of the spot produced concerning geometric optics only plus the diameter of the spot concerning only ...
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0answers
42 views

Breakdown of Snell [on hold]

I have reason to believe that if we are using an accurately formed thin prism, then very near the working apex, where there are few atomic layers in a latticed prism, there will be inaccuracies in the ...
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1answer
743 views

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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Sharp spot with laser diode

Hope this is the right forum. What components are required for optic system to project a sharp spot with laser diode on a target 10mm-30mm away of the light source? Sharp- means that the transition ...
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1answer
228 views

Third-order susceptibilities of metals?

Can anyone point me to a source for measurements of the third-order nonlinear electric susceptibilities $\chi^{(3)}$ of various metals? Specifically in relation to the AC Kerr effect, so measurements ...
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2answers
50 views

Can AMO physics be applicable for space travel? [on hold]

I know it sounds very stupid question. I am a Ph.D student currently working on the AMO physics (Quantum Optics). I recently saw articles about the Spacex, and I thought it is really amazing, and ...
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25 views

How to find the width of a sinc function? [on hold]

I took the data of visibility by varying the distance between two slits in the YDS experiment. I plotted the visibility vs the distance between two slits and fitted with sinc function. The width of ...
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1answer
31 views

Calculating the diameter of Jupiter through an image

I took an image of Jupiter through my 8" Dobsonian Telescope, attaching a DSLR and a 1.25" Barlow Lens where the eyepiece goes, as shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reFxoF3XoaU ...
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1answer
38 views

Does the Abbe limit hold for a single lens?

Let us say I have a single (converging lens) could I use the Abbe diffraction limit (for a microscope) to find its resolution or do I have to use the Rayleigh criterion. (i.e. Is the Abbe diffraction ...
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0answers
10 views

How does the area of illumination affect the numerical aperture / optical resolution of an optical system?

I have been reading an optics paper in which they designed a microscope with the following setup. A light source passes through a small pinhole, illuminates a sample, which then forms a diffraction ...
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51 views

Why don't the colors in an oil slick change as I walk past?

After it rains, I often see bands of color on the asphalt roads. This is usually explained as an thin film interference. Wikipedia has a picture of it which looks by inspection to be the same ...
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2answers
30 views

How does change in medium affect object distance/image distance?

Say,we have a container filled with a liquid of refractive index $7/5$ upto a height up $H$. There exists a plane glass mirror at the bottom of the container. Now if a fish were placed at a height of ...
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1answer
269 views

Why is an exciton only observed when we excite to the conduction band and not to other electronic level inside the bandgap?

Excitons can be observed when we excite electrons to the conduction band. I don't know about excitons being observed when we excite the electrons to an electronic level that would eventually be in ...
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5answers
22k views

Why glass is transparent?

Once I asked this question from my teacher and he replied "because it passes light", "and why it passes light" I asked and he said "because it is transparent". Same question again, Why glass is ...
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0answers
23 views

Production of entangled photons by spontaneous down conversion [on hold]

I have found that the conditional uncertainty product of position and momentum of any one photon produced in the spontaneous parametric down conversion process using a gaussian pump beam decreases ...
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1answer
18 views

Michleson Interferometer fringe shift

I have a problem with interferometer fringe shift. I am learning it from my physics book. In the book, it is written, "As the L1 (Displacement of moveable mirror) is changed, the pattern of ...
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0answers
10 views

Binocular vs. monocular field of view in head-up displays

I've been reading about head-up displays in Wiki: Head-up display and understand that it works such that an image from an LCD screen (automotive) or from a cathode ray tube (aviation) is projected to ...
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3answers
1k views

What causes atoms to have their specific colors?

I understand that light (color) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and that it depends on what wavelengths are reflected/absorbed. Though what property of an individual atom gives it its color? ...
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1answer
609 views

Definition of pole of a spherical mirror

what can be a suitable definition to a pole of the spherical mirror. It cant be the geometrical center of a spherical mirror as if a mirror is cut then its pole does not change. moreover if a ...
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1answer
114 views

Refractive index and color

Does the color of an object have anything to do with its refractive index, and if so, what is the relation? I tried googling this and searching through the questions on stack exchange, but I haven't ...
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3answers
96 views

Why can't incoherent light be collimated as well as laser light (e.g. in a laser pointer)?

Why does a laser pointer contain a laser diode, and not just an LED? A laser pointer contains a laser diode, which essentially shines coherent light over a large angle, and a collimating lens, to ...
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2answers
220 views

Is the photon truly not absorbed in Raman scattering?

In reading about Raman Scattering, I was thinking while reading it "okay, incident photo absorbed by molecule, molecule goes to higher energy vibrational state, molecule re-emits photon with either ...
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2answers
368 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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2answers
171 views

Optical path difference

I have question about calculating optical path difference. $$\Delta L = \mathrm{(BC+CD)}\cdot n_2 - \textrm{BF}\cdot n_1$$ - why calculating path difference here we are subtracting $\mathrm{BF}$ ...
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0answers
32 views

how to solve this question? [closed]

This is the question in my text : A monochromatic light of wavelength $\mathrm{600 \times 10^{-9}m}$ is used in a Young's double slit experiment. One of the slit is covered by a transparent sheet ...
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25 views

How to solve the following wave equation? [closed]

We have paraxial beam propagating in a uniaxial anisotropic media. When such is the case wave can be divided into two orthogonal parts: Ordinary wave beam Extraordinary wave beam. The ordinary ...
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1answer
26 views

How black body absorbs light?

I learn that black body absorbs light, but couldn't get the mechanism behind it. I wish I could get help.
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3answers
3k views

Is true black possible?

Black is the absence of light because it absorbs light, but when we create black paint or black objects, light is always reflected, either in all directions in matte or smoothly in shiny black ...
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33 views

Amplitude of unpolarized EM wave after a polarizer

The amplitude of a linearly polarized wave after a polarizer is $$E_1 = E_0\cos(\theta)$$ and the intensity is $$I_1 = I_0\cos^2(\theta)$$ Now for unpolarized light, the time averaged amplitude is ...
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118 views

How to calculate reflection profile of a beam shining onto a moving mirror?

I want to build a projector, where a beam of light is shining on to mirrors, placed at different angles, which are spinning fast enough to draw lines. The question is, how to calculate the needed ...
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1answer
24 views

Tilted and Misaligned Items in Optical Schemes

My scientific advisor has said me to find correct and concrete ray matrices (ABCD (2x2) or ABCDEFGHI (3x3) or ABCDEFGHIJKL (4x4)) corresponding to tilted and misaligned optical elements such as: ...
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2answers
46 views

Interference Pattern and dark lines

Two very narrow slits are spaced apart and are placed 35.0 cm from a screen. What is the distance between the first and second dark lines of the interference pattern when the slits are illuminated ...
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1answer
51 views

Glowing light around my shadow during sunrise

This morning I was jogging when the sun came rose. I was in the middle of wheat-fields and noticed that there was a glow around the upper part of body's shadow on the fields. At first I thought that ...
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0answers
25 views

Quantify shade-off and halo effect in phase contrast microscopy

Shade-off and halo effect introduce distortion to phase contrast images. I am trying to utilize these features to write a program which could identify spherical cells from (positive) phase contrast ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is the atmosphere transparent in the visible spectrum?

One of the great 'coincidences' in physics is that the Sun happens to shine most brightly at exactly the wavelengths our eyes can see; it's an easy explanation that our eyes evolved to make the most ...
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1answer
824 views

How can my window not scramble the image of my yard?

How can an image pass through a window if the atoms in the glass randomly emit photons in any direction? I've read that glass is transparent because the atoms don't readily adsorb visible light, so it ...
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Why aren't all objects transparent?

I know that for an object to be transparent, visible light must go through it undisturbed. In other words, if the light energy is sufficiently high to excite one of the electrons in the material, ...
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2answers
79 views

How come lenses alter the path of photons?

From what I know, photons are theorized particles and believed to be massless (just energy) and travel at the speed of light. How come a lens, which is an object made of atoms, can bend a light path? ...
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1answer
36 views

Does the angle of incidence change the refractive index?

I've been told if you plot a graph using the sine of the angle of incidence and the sine of the angle of transmission it should follow a linear regression $y = ax + b$. However, if you use certain ...
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1answer
23 views

What is meant by the point-source response of eye or telescope?

I have heard that a source is called unresolved if it is much smaller in angular size than the point-source response of the eye or telescope observing it. What is the meaning of point-source response ...
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2answers
139 views

What will be the effect of placing a light source very close to a photodiode?

What will be the effect of placing a photodiode really close to a laser source and what should be the appropriate distance between a light source and photodiode to get maximum output current?
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0answers
24 views

Is there a minimum population inversion necessary for lasing? [on hold]

Let's say I have a cavity built, with a lasing medium inside, positioned optimally. What are the conditions on the population inversion that must take place for lasing to occur?
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1answer
39 views

Does curving only the inner surface of a diving mask prevent blurred images?

Diving masks often have lenses built into the glass for divers who do not have perfect vision. The lenses in a diving mask faceplate often only have a curved surfaces on the inside glass. Why is this ...
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113 views

Maxwell Stress Tensor at material boundaries

I am trying to grasp the meaning of the Maxwell Stress tensor $T_i^j$ at material boundaries. Concretely, I am trying to calculate the force between two waveguides. The results are given in an article ...