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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
3answers
63 views

Violation of conservation of energy?

Imagine a perfectly spherical mirror with 100% reflection. Imagine a point source of light in the center. The point source keeps radiating light. Will the light undergo destructive interference ...
20
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it possible to blur an image in such way that a person with sight problems could see it sharp?

If someone has short or long sight, is it possible to tune image on a computer monitor in such way, that a person could see it sharp as if they were wearing glasses? If not, will 3d monitor make it ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Can someone give an intuitive understanding of Fano Resonance?

I'm reading about Fano Resonance. The line that almost every source I can find gives is something like (from the wiki): The Fano resonance line-shape is due to interference between two ...
6
votes
3answers
937 views

reflection at intersection of two mirrors

Consider 2 mirrors which intersect at an angle. If we draw a light ray intersecting the mirrors at their point of intersection, how will it reflect? What will be the normal at that point?
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Any good reference on crystal optics?

I am primarily interested in the birefringence phenomenon. Any good reference? I want something above the general physics level.
51
votes
6answers
10k views

Why are most metals gray/silver?

Why do most metals (iron, tin, aluminum, lead, zinc, tungsten, nickel, etc.) appear silver or gray in color? (What atomic characteristics determine the color?) What makes copper and gold have ...
1
vote
0answers
6 views

How does voltage sensitive dyes actually determine neural network in foetus?

In research topics of neurophotonics, the best way of determination of neural network in foetus is by using voltage-sensitive dyes instead of placing diodes. But how does it actually work? Sorry if ...
1
vote
2answers
23 views

Measuring image distance of a virtual image

How to a measure image distance of a virtual image without calculation? It is impossible? To measure it, we must have a real image to measure the image distance with a screen and a ruler. I saw it ...
10
votes
2answers
420 views

Why does sunset over a body of water cause a path of light stretching towards the horizon?

Have you ever notice the sunset's image in the sea? It's like long light path to the end of the horizon! I've attached a sample of this: How can we explain this? I know that it can happen even in ...
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Examples in which the light maximizes the optical path length

I posted a similar question about geodesics on Math.SE. Many sources (Wikibooks for instance) claim that the light could maximize the optical path length in some cases. But I don't think it's actually ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What does this problem about lenses really want?

This is the problem: The distance between the lens of a simple remote camera (means it's not used to take pictures of close things) and the film is 40mm. how much should we move the lens to get ...
3
votes
2answers
44 views

Decoherence of a Coherent Beam

If retarding films (i.e. wave plates) can retard the electric components of light (based on the films thickness) without affecting it's direction, couldn't I use a retarding film of randomly varying ...
5
votes
1answer
43 views

Long, blurry reflections in wet road [duplicate]

When driving on a wet highway at night, any surface emitting or reflecting light will have a reflection right under it that is blurry and seems to stretch to infinity. This is not exactly what I am ...
1
vote
0answers
6 views

difference between plasmonic wave plates and usual wave plates

plasmonic waveplates are constructed using the generation of surface plasmons. Is there any difference between these plasmonic wave plates and the usual wave plates used in optics, besides the ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Can anybody explain about phase shift and phase spectrum terms in case of multidimensional signal?

I know about phase of a 1D signal, but when I move into higher dimensions like 2D or 3D etc, it becomes headache to grasp the concept. What do the terms "phase shift" and "phase spectrum" mean in ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Is the plane wave model always valid in reflection and transmission?

my question is related to another one I asked, but I foolishly made that question about several things (experiment, computation, theory) at once so it was confused. I was talking to my boss about ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Is it possible for someone traveling at the speed of light to see at all? [on hold]

I know that the speed of light is the same for all observers regardless of your speed, But this question is really worth thinking about. If someone let's say managed to reach the speed of light, ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Wavenumber separation for a source containing hydrogen and deuterium [closed]

I'm trying to solve the following question: The hydrogen line at $656.3nm$ emitted from a source containing hydrogen and deuterium is studied using a Fabry-Perot etalon of $0.5mm$ spacing. The ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Polarization and Reflection [duplicate]

The polarization is a property of waves that can oscillate with more than one orientation. Given this, when the light is reflected from a surface, does the reflection change the property/orientation ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Does ordinary refraction exert a couple on the refracting medium?

Refraction gives rise to a momentum change orthogonal to the propagation direction. This must result in an equal and opposite change to the medium at the boundary. Entry and exit cancel, and the ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Why Image is not enlarged if we keep convex lens first and concave lens at last?

Well After successfully getting some concave and convex lens I started observing. At first I saw that if we keep concave lens near to your eye and just after x distance away if we keep convex lens we ...
9
votes
2answers
174 views

How do a microscope's optics expose defects in the user's vision?

I've got cataracts in both eyes. My vision is correctable to 20/30, so the cataracts are essentially a non-issue in daily living. But when I use a microscope, which I do daily, (binocular, zoom ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

How much UV is reflected by glass?

On a sunny day, how much of the Sun's UV is reflected by windows? I suppose this boils down to what are the refractive indices of common window glasses, so that one might solve the Fresnel equations. ...
2
votes
2answers
35 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Magneto Optical Kerr Effects

I have a few questions on MOKE setup. Firstly, why is calibration of the coils necessary? Is it to get a relationship between the voltage and the Magnetic field? Secondly, why do we have to normalise ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Is polarization a meaningful notion for an EM mode in a close cavity?

For a generic close cavity, I suspect that all the modes are non-degenerate? Therefore, in each mode, at each point, the E field has a definite direction, and consequently, it is meaningless to say a ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Plane Mirror as the Screen in Young's experient

If I place a plane mirror instead of the screen in the Young's double slit experiment, what will I see? Will the bands appear on the mirror face?
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Propagating higher order Hermite Gaussian modes. What are complex amplitude coefficients?

I've been tasked with writing a code (in MatLab, but I'm currently using Mathematica because I don't know MatLab %\ ...) to simulate the propagation of a Gaussian beam. I don't really know anything ...
3
votes
0answers
33 views

3D movie optics mathematics

I get the idea that we use two polarized light sources and a parallax rendered film such that the objects seem to resemble true parallax in our eyes once it passes through the polarized glasses, but ...
-1
votes
0answers
15 views

Why don't we see a totally circular rainbow in the sky [duplicate]

We know that the rainbow is formed due to the scattering of light. We always see the rainbow in a semicircular style. Does it is possible that we can ever see a totally circular Rainbow.
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it possible to witness a circular rainbow?

What conditions would make it possible to see a naturally occurring fully 360° circular rainbow? Would it even be possible?
2
votes
3answers
157 views

What really makes a rainbow happen?

Yes, a rainbow is formed when a raindrop refracts light, but why then does the whole sky not become a huge rainbow when it rains? Would the light not be dispersed into ordinary 'white' light? What ...
-1
votes
5answers
166 views

Is there a limit to the frame rate achievable with a high-speed camera?

A high-speed camera is a device used for recording fast- moving objects as a photographic image(s) onto a storage medium. A normal motion picture is filmed and played back at 24 frames per second, ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

Turning a camera towards the screen showing the feed of the camera [closed]

Could someone tell me what happens if you turn the camera towards the screen showing what the camera is recording?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Bi-convex vs. plano-convex lenses

As I understand, less spherical aberration is obtained when a collimated beam is focused with a plano-convex lens as opposed to a biconvex lens. What would be a situation when a bi-convex lens should ...
2
votes
0answers
23 views

Rayleigh scattering equation for optical frequencies

I would like to know if there is an empirical/generic equation for Rayleigh scattering at optical frequencies in the atmosphere, similar to the Mie scattering model from Kim and Kruse which states ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

hexagonal patterns when we look at bright light or sun

when we look at bright light or sun, we many a times hexagonal patterns are observed. these are easily observed when we click their images. why all this happens? is all this is just a lens flare or is ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

coherent length measurement of a monochromatic laser source

i need to learn about how to measure coherent length of a monochromatic laser source.I know that I can use michelson interferometer or spectrometry.For laser which has long coherent length michelson ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Position dependent refractive index [duplicate]

How to determine the angle of refraction when the medium has position dependent refraction index? Lets say that the angle of incidence on the glassy slab is $\theta_1$ and the ray goes through the ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Determining the path of a light ray

Let's consider a ray in the plane $xy$. Let the refractive index be defined in any point of the plane with the function $n(x,y)$. In time $t=0$ the ray is located in coordinates $(x_0, y_0)$ and its ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Disadvantages of viewing a diffraction grating at larger order?

If you are using a diffraction grating as a spectrometer you are likely to use high order, because you have a better resolution (as a result of larger dispersion??). But are there any disadvantage? I ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Why infrared light waves is visible through camera? [duplicate]

For example We know that some television manufacturers have the limited IR-based remotes which cannot be seen by our eyes directly but while playing when I just put my camera in front of my TV remote ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Is fluorescence from a single atom/ion visible with the naked eye (e.g. in a strongly coupled trap or cavity)

I remember sitting in on a conference talk by a person (possibly Rainer Blatt) doing research with trapped ions (or single atoms strongly coupled to light in an optical cavity), and the person showed ...
5
votes
2answers
360 views

How does light know which path is fastest?

We know from Fermat's principle of least time that light follows the fastest path. But how does light know which path is the fastest?
8
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How do I convert lux to lumens

Overview... I'm a novice in the very basics of light physics and calculation between various units. I'm sure this is a very simple problem to those who know the process. And, before we continue, this ...
5
votes
0answers
35 views

What's the size of the smallest possible CCD/CMOS pixel size?

For a given wavelength $\lambda$, is there a limit on the size of the sensor pixel, regardless of the optical equipment attached to the sensor?
5
votes
0answers
78 views

Why can I turn light red or blue by holding my finger up to it?

This is a difficult phenomenon to explain. Imagine you have an opaque object partially covering a very bright light source, for example, an object held up against the sky. The left hand diagram is ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Is the output of a laser pointer polarized or not?

How to verify it? Is a laser necessarily polarized? I have a laser pointer with wavelength 532nm in hand.