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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What's the difference between two types of diaphragms?

What's the principal difference between aperture iris diaphragm and field iris diaphragm?
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Diffraction pattern in the image plane?

Consider the setup below: In all cases the relationship between $u_o(x_o)$ and $u_f(x_f)$ is given by a Fourier transform. My question is, when is the same true for the relationship between ...
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2answers
25 views

The image of a wall clock is to be obtained on the opposite wall 2m away by the means of a convex lens. What is the minimum focal length required? [on hold]

I'm in 10th grade and this question came in my physics test. Nobody was able to answer this question correctly except my physics teacher who says that the answer is 2m. My answer is that there should ...
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0answers
9 views

Collimation and the inverse square law

This is my understanding of how the inverse square law applies to collimated light, and specifically laser light, since AFAIK it's the only light that can be collimated with any accuracy thanks to ...
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4answers
161 views

Shining a laser onto a mirror

Theoretically, if I shined a laser at a mirror at an angle of 0 degrees so that the light was perfectly reflected back to the light source, then I should not be able to see the light because it is not ...
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1answer
29 views

Phase differences due to reflection etc [on hold]

http://www.physicsgalaxy.com/lectures/1/30/1749/Solved-Example-15#42 see this link(only question) and see 1:21. Phase difference is given as $2\mu t$ but shouldn't it be $2\mu ...
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2answers
45 views

Why don't eye lenses alter depth perception?

What it is going to do is bend the rays so that light from infinity "appears" as though it is coinciding with a person's far point. In doing so, it allows the person to see a clear image, without ...
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28 views

Plane waves intensity

Our professor said that a plane wave has the same intensity in the plane perpendicular to it's propagation. I can't really make sense of how that is possible. I mean, shouldn't the intensity decrease ...
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3answers
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Why does conservation of étendue matter when showing one cannot focus light to arbitrary temperatures?

The latest XKCD What-If post discusses how one cannot start a fire by focusing the light from the moon. The answer is no, for well-established reasons, but the explanation isn't watertight. Maybe ...
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1answer
26 views

Calculate the laser heating on a crystal

Let's say I'm doing an optical experiment. I focus a laser on a crystal with a certain amount of power. The crystal's temperature is regulated to a certain temperature but it is localy heated by the ...
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140 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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25 views

Polka dot beamsplitter. Is it good for gaussian beams

I am doing pump probe and I am looking for beam-splitter which will not affect beam polarization too much, as I intend to measure polarization dependencies. I have heard of polka-dot beam-splitters ...
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Blue light filtering

Prologue: my knowledge in these topics is fairly limited, so please feel free to point out the mistakes or the not-so-clear points, and bear with me for the oversimplicity of the language used. I was ...
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1answer
117 views

How to interpret the complex index of refraction?

The index of refraction which represents how much light gets refracted when entering a medium is defined as $$n = \frac{c}{v}$$ I have seen it stated in several places, such as here, that we can ...
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1answer
20 views

Why does narrower slit give a wider diffraction pattern in single slit diffraction?

I was reading on this website and it said that one of the characteristic of single slit is narrower slit give a wider diffraction pattern but why? ...
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1answer
45 views

Wave vector relation in nonlinear material

A light wave ($k_1,\omega_1$) travels in a medium of refractive index $n_1$ and then encounters a nonlinear medium ($n_2$) under the angle $\theta_1$. Snell's law tells us the wave's direction in the ...
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24 views

Wave optics physics

When does monochromatic beam of light incident on a reflective surface get completely transmitted.according to the question what exactly the word transmitted means? I'm little bit confused .could you ...
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2answers
451 views

Phase and amplitude information of an image

By applying Fourier Transform to an image we can get its magnitude as well as phase spectrum. A magnitude spectrum describes how various frequencies are attenuated and accentuated in that image but ...
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0answers
20 views

Are the Rayleigh criterion and the Point Spread Function related to each other?

Reading this paper as of now, and at the very end of the appendices, it mentions that: However, assuming a highquality preparation, the limit of resolution for any application is always ...
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2answers
39 views

Seeing red color against violet

If you put a red dot and violet dot on a wall and move far away from them, after certain period/distance you will only be able to see the red light, then my teacher explained why/how this happens , ...
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1answer
368 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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7answers
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Why does light change direction when it travels through glass?

This was explained to me many years ago, by a physics teacher, with the following analogy: "If someone on the beach wants to reach someone else that is in the water, they will try to travel as much ...
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2answers
25 views

Can a biconcave thick lens ever have a positive focus? I.e. if both sides have radius of curvature -/+R?

Since a thin biconcave lens has a negative focus, can a thick biconcave lens with a certain thickness have a positive focus if both sides have the same (magnitude) radius of curvature?
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1answer
249 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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1answer
22 views

How can I change the divergence angle of a single mode fiber

For my project I use the end of a single mode fiber as a "transmitter". I need to set the divergence to 20 micro radians. Is there an equation how to calculate the divergence and the necessary optics ...
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2answers
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How is refractive index related to the density of a medium (for example, air)?

I have a question regarding refractive index dependency on the density of a dielectric, specifically air. Background Let us start from Newton's second law form of driven harmonic oscillators ...
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1answer
41 views

What is the math behind the smartphone fish eye lenses

I found out information that these add-on fish eye lenses for smartphones have a focal length of about 2mm. I bought a lens and tried it with several different phones and it worked. I found out that ...
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1answer
35 views

Single slit diffraction - choosing a wavelength?

For the classic experiment of determining the slit width of a single slit. If we assume the rough order of magnitude of the width is known. What factors determine the choice of wavelength? (Clearly ...
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1answer
146 views

Mode groups in an optical fiber

I know what modes in an optical fiber mean but what are exactly mode groups in an optical fiber? From what I read until now, I have the impression that modes that have close propagation constants ...
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1answer
41 views

why do light bulbs explode when in contact with water?

Is it true that when water pours on a light bulb it will explode? If so does this apply to all light bulbs and how does that happen.
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50 views

Selecting an epi-illuminated objective for optical microscopy

I am currently trying to improve my silicon microphotography. To provide context: this is what I get with a 10x epi plan objective¹: This is what I get with 40x epi plan objectve with NA=0.65: I ...
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2answers
541 views

What is the difference between Sapphire and BK7?

What is the difference between Sapphire and BK7 in optics (lenses), is it only about quality?
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0answers
40 views

Optical signals and the electromagnetic spectrum [closed]

Are Optical signals are not considered part of the E-M spectrum? Or are they?
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1answer
45 views

Why does magnetic field and not electric field invert in a reflection? (related to another question)

When you are talking about an elctromagnetic wave that reflects on a surface (for example here), why do you say that the reflected magnetic field inverts and not the electric field? \begin{align} E_+ ...
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79 views

How far do we need to be removed from the earth to show the curvature with a viewing angle between 42 and 48 degrees? [duplicate]

I have seen already a couple of answers but none of them give an exact number of what should be the minimum height where we would be able to record the curvature of the earth All I could find is ...
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0answers
41 views

Determining focal length and positions of principal planes [closed]

I have been stuck on this problem for a few days now, and I am still not confident which approach to take with this question. I am consider using the Gullstrand Equation, but I hear some of my ...
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1answer
18 views

Signal loss in non-reflected light through a tube proportional to square of the length?

Reading a patent I came across the claim: "...a portion of light intersecting the inner metal surface is not reflected, resulting in a loss in signal intensity... the signal loss is proportional to ...
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0answers
33 views

Showing the relationship between focal ratio and brightness [closed]

I have an optics question that I have been stuck on for a few days now and I really need some guidance. Any help is appreciated! Question: The f-number (focal ratio) of a lens is the ratio of a focal ...
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1answer
26 views

Why eyepiece does not resolve image formed by objective lens further?

In my book it is written that "The angular resolution of the telescope is determined by the objective of the telescope. The stars which are not resolved in the image produced by the objective cannot ...
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0answers
19 views

DIY optical band pass filter or another alternative

I need to detect laser using a solar cell which would need me to either detect the laser wavelength or use pulse modulation and detect the frequency so I'm kinda here to ask if it's possible to simply ...
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3answers
2k views

How to recover an unfocussed image

If the lenses in a camera are not set correctly, the intended subject will be "out of focus" in the resulting image. There seems to be no loss of information here. The photons are just steered to the ...
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1answer
29 views

Why rainbows form around flashes?

I read that to see a rainbow, your back must be towards the sun, and you have to look at roughly 42 Degrees from the imaginary line to spot the red band. But many times, me and many of my friends see ...
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1answer
40 views

Will smoke affect young's double slit experiment

If smoke is present in between the screen and slit in Young's double slit experiment using laser, will there be any change in the interference pattern? Will the fringes be obtained on the screen? ...
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1answer
365 views

Brightness of light sources

I would like to know what determines the brightness of light. I'm confused, After hours of reading, I got these definitions mixed up I need to link them together: Light intensity Brightness of ...
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2answers
50 views

Why do you need at least two rays to form an image?

Why isn't enough one light beam to form an image in your retina for example?
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3answers
3k views

Is it possible to 3D print a mirror to create a high quality telescope?

Is it possible to 3D print a mirror with todays available materials? If so, would there be a reduction in image quality?
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2answers
136 views

Why does a laser beam stay collimated?

I am looking for a simple way of explaining the collimation of a laser beam. The typical discussion of the two slit experiment of quantum theory relies heavily on the Huygens principle. Its ...
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0answers
31 views

Sign convention in geometrical optics

This is slight misconception that has bugged me. While deriving the mirror formula: $$\frac{1}{u}+\frac{1}{v}=\frac{1}{f},$$ people (as per my reference book) tend to apply the sign convention to ...
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2answers
23 views

Holography with object and reference waves with a slightly different wavelength

Recently I've been looking into holography, where one interferes the object wave with a reference wave and encodes their combined intensity on a transparency, so that if one then re illuminates the ...
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1answer
7 views

Third-order dispersion in glass, direction influence

I have learned that the third-order dispersion $\chi$ is a tensor with 81 elements. Nevertheless in glass one only has four elements, which either can be $x$ or $y$ (in this case). Now there exist ...