# Physical optics Definition and 4 Discussions

In physics, physical optics, or wave optics, is the branch of optics that studies interference, diffraction, polarization, and other phenomena for which the ray approximation of geometric optics is not valid. This usage tends not to include effects such as quantum noise in optical communication, which is studied in the sub-branch of coherence theory.

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1. ### Calculate the best angle for maximum light dispersion through a medium

I first thought that the angle would have to be maximum when it is closest to the critical angle for total internal reflection. From my lectures the equation for the critical angle is ##\theta _1>\ sin ^{-1} \left( \frac {n_2} {n_1} \right),## so as ##n_2 = 1##, we have ##\theta _1=\sin...
2. ### B What does coefficient of increase of physical quantity mean?

I am extremely confused by the use of the term coefficient of increase of something. For example , if it is stated that the index of refraction varies linearly with a coefficient of 2.5×10^-5, how is this coefficient defined? Is it simply the slope of the line plotted with index of refraction on...
3. Q

### Creating a two lens system of tunable focal length

Hello, I would like to reduce the beam size of a laser by a factor of 10, with the purpose of replacing a long (750 mm) lens with a more compact design. Ideally I'd make a Galilean lens pair where the ratio of the focal lengths are 10:1 to produce a small collimated beam. However, I think I...
4. ### EM wave interacting with refelcting surface

When trying to explain reflection through the EM treatment of light waves, how do we account for the fact that the electric/magnetic field of the incoming light would penetrate into the medium from which it is reflecting off of? Diagrams like these: show the 'reflection point' on the axis of...