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    How light starts

    I've been reading my physics book about Maxwell's equations. It makes sense to me that an electric and magnetic wave could be self supportive and vary with time. What doesn't make sense to me is why it should travel through space, in other words vary in space. The derivation of the wave...
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    180 degree out of phase reflection?

    Thanks for your input. I understand now, but I have other questions. We could only deduce or reason from this experiment that one of the reflections is out of phase. How do we prove which one? Also is there other experiments that prove which reflections are out of phase with the incident light?
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    Prism dispersion

    Does dispersion of light by a prism have anything to do with how thin films disperse light of different colors at different angles? Could a person imagine the sides as if they were thin films?
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    180 degree out of phase reflection?

    I was just reading my book when it said that the fact that newtons rings were always dark in the center where the lens touches the glass plate is proof that reflections are 180 degrees out of phase with the incident light, but after further thinking, I think that logic doesn't make complete...
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    Optics books

    I'm wanting to get another optics book. I'm interested in finding a book that gives insight into how light waves interact with surfaces such as in reflection and x-ray diffraction and things like that using sufficient diagrams of the wavefronts and particles and rayleigh scattering. I want to...
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    Rayleigh scattering

    I'm just wondering something. Suppose some particles scatter light coming from a monochromatic laser or just some monochromatic light source. I've seen Rayleigh scattering being described as if the particles reemitted light that either added together in phase in the forward direction or was...
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    Modified Picard method

    Does anyone know how I can learn about how to do the modified Picard method of solving differential equations? I didn't find for sure any books about it and I can't really understand the papers on the internet about it because I don't know how to read like a math major very well and they seem...
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    Fourier optics question

    I'm really having trouble explaining what I mean, but I've got another question that might help you figure it out. How do you express the function sin(x + 1) by a fourier series of the form A_n sin(nx) + B_n cos(nx). I mean expressing sin(x) this way would be easy, but what about sin(x +...
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    Fourier optics question

    Suppose you have an arbitrary waveform made up of different frequencies of light. In books the different frequencies that add together to make the arbitrary waveform start and stop at the same place as all the other frequencies, say at 0 and 2 pi. Well their wavelengths divide 2 pi evenly if...
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    Questions about lasers and diffraction

    Okay, so I've been thinking about diffraction experiments and light, but not having a laboratory, I would like to know some specifics about what happens in a diffraction experiment. I know that laser light diffracts when it passed through a narrow aperture, but does it diffract as it passes out...
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