Register to reply

Optical Path Length

by Joeseye
Tags: length, optical, path
Share this thread:
Joeseye
#1
Mar8-12, 12:11 PM
P: 4
Problem:

My homework constantly refers to something called the optical path length, L - I'm not exactly sure what this is. It's in the equation below. This question is in relation to astrophysics and dust extinction in the Interstellar Medium.

Relevant equations:

Dust optical depth, τλ = Ng∏a2L

Solution:

My best guess is that it's something to do with the penetration distance into a cloud(???).

Thanks.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Experts defend operational earthquake forecasting, counter critiques
EU urged to convert TV frequencies to mobile broadband
Sierra Nevada freshwater runoff could drop 26 percent by 2100
gneill
#2
Mar8-12, 05:12 PM
Mentor
P: 11,689
Hmm. Optical depth is something different from optical path length. Optical depth should be related to optical extinction (light absorption by a medium). Optical path length is usually the physical distance of the path that light follows through a system, multiplied by the index of refraction of the medium. L*n in other words.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Optical equivalent path Classical Physics 2
Optical path length and phase difference Introductory Physics Homework 0
Optical Path length in core fiber of fiber optic faceplate Introductory Physics Homework 1
Optical Path Length Advanced Physics Homework 2
Optical Path Length Introductory Physics Homework 0