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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mode-locking a laser on prime-powers' frequencies

Being rather a theoretician than an experimental physicist, I have a question to the community: Is it experimentally possible to mode-lock a laser (fixed phase relationships between the modes of the ...
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162 views

Are the fast axes on Thorlabs quarter-waveplates mislabeled?

Some members of my lab are performing a polarization-sensitive experiment where they need to use a quarter-waveplate (QWP) with the fast axis in a specific direction. In the process of carefully ...
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37 views

How does the atmospheric UVB attenuation of terrestrial planets compare?

On Earth, UVB (280nm - 315nm or 320nm depending on the source) undergoes extensive attenuation through the atmosphere, when observed at the planet's surface, as illustrated below: Image source ...
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137 views

The physics behind Google Glass' “prism”

In writing a bachelor's thesis about applicable use cases for Google Glass in retail I also strive to explain the physics behind Glass' optics. So far I've come to the following conclusions: Glass ...
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85 views

Optical mode leakage through a layer of gold

The geometry of my semiconductor device is given below. The blue regions are gold, the grey ones - gallium arsenide (n-doped to $2.9 \times 10^{15} \mathrm{cm^{-3}}$). The dimensions are μm, i.e. it ...
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165 views

Suntan: UV absorption vs daytime

I guess that these questions were being asked by many people on the Northern Hemisphere during this summer (and other summers) and someone may give a nice, coherent answer. The general question is how ...
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61 views

Blonde hair looking green at certain angle

I have a friend who has blonde hair. And when look at an oblique angle, there's a tinge of light green in her hair. I've heard that the copper ion in pool water can make blonde hair green, but her ...
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41 views

How does a microscopes optics expose defects in the users 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 ...
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69 views

Optical Bloch Oscillation

I have a doubt about how the optical Bloch oscillations happen in a 1D photonic crystal. I try to explain: in a photonic crystal with discrete translational symmetry in one direction I superimpose a ...
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52 views

Output of a beamsplitter with photon number (Fock) state inputs

Given a beamsplitter drawn below, where $\hat{a}$ and $\hat{b}$ are input modal annihilation operators, transmissivity is $\tau\in[0,1]$, and output modal annihilation operators are ...
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47 views

Light, Fourier Transforms, Spherical Harmonics

Mathematically, I'm having trouble understanding where we can use what with light. I read somewhere on this site that Huygen's Principle is effectively just taking an expansion of a wave onto the ...
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83 views

Superposition principle and polarization

I am reading an optics book (Physics of Light and Optics by Peatross and Ware) that asserts this: A beam of light can always be considered as an intensity sum of completely unpolarized light and ...
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105 views

Maximum-Entropy Method deconvolution implementation?

I am looking for an implementation of the Maximum Entropy Method for image deconvolution, ideally in MATLAB or Mathematica. I'm trying to reconstruct an image from fringe visibilities, as is often ...
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187 views

Pockels effect/Kerr effect

In Pockels electro-optic effect, change in Electric field produces change in refractive index/ birefringence. Moreover this effect becomes electric field squared in the case of Kerr effect. If we ...
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48 views

SHS Interferometer and diffraction limit

I'm currently researching Spatial Heterodyned Spectrometers (SHS) and I'm a bit at a loss understanding the influence of the diffraction limit. I'll be measuring a diffuse visible light source with ...
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126 views

Bandgap Spacing in Photonic Crystals

I am doing some self-study on photonics and have encountered the following question: We know that amorphous electronic crystals such as amorphous silicon have a bandgap. Can amorphous photonic ...
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65 views

A problem concerning the change of temperature and spectrum of a filament

The spectrum of a filament has been given before, the left one having the lowest temperature, the middle with a medium temperature and the right one with the highest. My question is this: Why does ...
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176 views

Is it possible to calculate the work function of a metal with basic lab equipment?

ive been given a problem in physics, its to prove if a lump of metal we have been given is real gold or not. one way to to do it would be to work out its density, which is fairly easy, mass/volume. ...
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80 views

Optics: finding total power of a syste, including wavelength

Specifically I need to create an ABCD matrix given 2 radii of curvatures, the thickness of the lens, type of glass (BK7) and a given wavelength. I will have to figure this out eventually, so help ...
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17 views

How absorption coefficient determines which material is used to make solar cells?

Does the knowledge of the material absorption coefficients aids engineers in determining which material to use in their solar cell designs? If yes, how?
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46 views

Rotating a Gaussian Beam

I need to see how the phase fronts of two gaussian beams interact when they intersect with each other. The two beams are tilted towards each other so that they intersect each other at their respective ...
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35 views

Expectation value for the time of a photon reflection

A photon is reflected by matter (by an electron in empty space). How long does the reflection take? (i.e. is there any infinitesimal time elapsing during the reflection process?), or more precisely, ...
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31 views

How is the imaginary part of angular frequency omega related to the imaginary part of the refractive index?

I'm trying to find the attenuation constant (leak rate) $\alpha$ from the imaginary part of the refractive index of a lossy material. I have the eigen frequency $\omega$ for my structure which has an ...
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50 views

What is $\epsilon_\infty$ in this equation and why can it be neglected in the IR?

I'm reading this paper (warning, PDF) and they mention that the complex permittivity $\epsilon$ and complex conductivity $\sigma$ are related through the equation $$\epsilon - \epsilon_\infty = (4\pi ...
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38 views

Resonance condition in confocal cavity

In a confocal cavity, a beam traverses the length of the resonator 4 times between two transmissions along the same ray. . For example, in the above figure, path difference between two beams that ...
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43 views

Is TRUE invisibility possible?

First off, this question may seem highly stupid at first, but it arose from past cartoon memories. In the cartoon Tom & Jerry from the 1940s, there was already hypothesizing over cream that, when ...
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48 views

caustics on droplets on glasses formed by streetlights

Suppose you're out at night, and it's rainy, and your glasses are covered by water droplets, and you chance to look at a streetlight. Are the ridged caustics of light seen at the edges of these ...
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67 views

Mathematical approaches to atmospheric refraction

Understanding atmospheric refraction, particularly of ultraviolet, and into the blue part of the visible spectrum is of great interest to me. Although, I have a strong background in trigonometry and ...
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41 views

Determine laser cavity modal content from beating / interference?

I'm trying to better understand the modal content and dynamics of laser cavities. I'm specifically interested in mode-locking, although this question is pretty general and applies to CW lasers too. I ...
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49 views

What is the requirements from an optical lab in terms of darkness

I am characterizing an optical lab and would like to know therefore what are the requirement from a standard optical lab in terms of ambient luminescence. In other words how dark should an optical lab ...
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191 views

Myopia / Hypermetropia eye glasses inverting image on retina

As far as I'm aware, the eye acts like a pinhole camera in that it inverts the image on the rentina. This makes sense as the rays converge and form a focal point that is upside down. Myopia ...
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147 views

Optical Raytracing by using Adiabatic Hamiltonian Method

I'm looking into raytracing a Lüneburg Lens which is a gradient index (GRIN) optical element with a radially varying refractive index: $$ n(\rho)=n_0\sqrt{2-\left(\frac{\rho}{R}\right)^2}, ...
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65 views

Laser Transverse/Longitudnal Modes

When we say Laser transverse modes. Is that mean what we will get at the output spot of laser beam ? secondly In practice , what TEM01 or TEMnm means ?
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64 views

Collimating and homogenizing a divergent tunable-spectrum light source

I have a light source (Xenon lamp) which has the possibility to be tuned over spectral range of 390 - 740 nm with 1 nm spectral accuracy . Bandwidth at each wavelength is about 20 nm . Output ...
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767 views

How does autorefractor work?

Autorefractors are being used by eye opticians for eye diagnosis. I searched internet for articles and wiki page as well but I wasn't satisfied. I am interested to know how do they actually work. How ...
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102 views

Line-shape asymmetry in undergraduate Hydrogen-Deuterium experiment

I'm working as an LA (undergraduate TA) for an undergraduate physics laboratory experiment where students test the Bohr model and use reduced mass to determine the approximate mass of the neutron. In ...
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105 views

Why is Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) preferred over Erbium Doped Waveguide Amplifier (EDWA)?

Why is Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) preferred over Erbium Doped Waveguide Amplifier (EDWA)? The question has been asked from an engineering point of view, but obviously I would also be ...
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212 views

How to calculate radiative transition rate of exciton in a quantum dot with specific dimension?

I am writing rate equations for a nanophotonic system including three quantum dots. I need to calculate that radiative transition rates of exciton in ground state in those quantum dots. In the paper ...
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65 views

fiber optic second order PMD as an operator on the tensor product Hilbert space

Second order polarization mode dispersion (SOPMD) is a coupling mechanism between polarization and frequency. Take our photon to be the following tensor product: $\psi = \int \gamma_{\omega} | ...
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174 views

projective camera: back-projecting a point on the image plane into 3-space

suppose I got a projective camera model. for this model I would like to back-project a ray through a point in the image plane. I know that the equation for this is the following: $$ y(\lambda) = P^+ ...
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148 views

Modeling a spray painted polyurethane surface reflection

I'm modeling light interaction/reflection from a fiberglass surface with polyurethane epoxy (that is very reflective) that has been spray painted with a matte black paint. I'm looking for some input ...
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26 views

Angular magnification of a two-lens system

Suppose an object is a distance $d_o$ from a first lens (which has a focal length $f_1$), where $d_o>f_1$. Behind the first lens is a second lens with a focal length $f_2$, such as to produce a ...
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20 views

Absorption Spectrum

I just learnt what absorption and emission spectrum are. And our teacher introduced us to what Quantum Dots are. And showed us their absorption and emission spectra. And they look something like this ...
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26 views

Cut angle for BBO type I SPDC

I am using an old BBO crystal, which is not designed for spontaneous parametric down conversion, to see whether I can generate converted photons of 800nm from 400nm. I used a photon avalanche detector ...
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25 views

How to isolate and verify the source of optical absorption/effects?

This is similar to my other question, but not the same -- that one was about the energy ranges of various absorption mechanisms, and this one is more about experimental techniques to find them. Let's ...
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49 views

Fabry Perot Etalon - changing wavelength and plate distance

Given reflectivity $R = 0.75$, an etalon is used as an interference filter, transmitting light of wavelength $4.3\mu m$ at normal incidence. The full width half maximum is about $\Delta \lambda = 0.2 ...
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30 views

Quick question on convolution - Diffraction through a pair of slits

We know that the fourier transform of the amplitude function (in terms of $y$) gives you the amplitude function (in terms of $\theta$) Consider a pair of triangular slits: Fourier transform of ...
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55 views

How to specify BRDF measurement

As a person who will be using the scattering measurement results (in Zemax), I was asked to prepare the specs for the BRDF measurement. However I've never done it until now, so help would be greatly ...
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33 views

What happens when a polarized light get reflected by a rough dielectric material?

I have a polarized light (lets say p polarized) which happens to undergo scattering when it is obstructed by a rough opaque dielectric material. What will happen to polarization? Will some part of it ...