What is Waves and optics: Definition and 15 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. M

    How can I find the width of the central diffraction maximum.

    If I am given the width of the slit (b), wavelength of the light (λ), and the distance of the slit from the screen (D), how can I find the width of the central maximum (d)? My book says d/2=Dλ/b, but with no explanation and I don't understand why. Where does this formula come from? Thank you...
  2. TachyonLord

    Melde's Exp: Why Transverse & Longitudinal Arrangements Differ?

    Homework Statement Why working formula for transverse and longitudinal arrangement in melde experiment different in Melde's experiment ? Homework Equations None. The corresponding equations are all derived from the same fact. The Attempt at a Solution So, I have understood that the tuning...
  3. YMMMA

    Preparing for the SAT Physics and Math Tests: Tips and Resources

    Hey guys, I am Yasmeen, a12th grader.I am taking my #SAT physics and maths1 test next month. Hope To find the help in here..
  4. T

    I One dimensional wave, function of a wave

    I am currently reading through 'Optics' by Eugene Hecht chp 2 page 20, he talks about the function of the wave and the direction of travel of the wave i.e ##\psi(x)=f(x-t)## and right at the bottom of the page he say this: Equation (2.5) is often expressed equivalently as some function of ##t -...
  5. T

    Destructive interference for distance-specific illumination?

    From a practical standpoint, can we combine two (or more) lasers tuned to almost-but-not-quite identical frequencies to create distance-specific illumination? For instance, say we have a 1 micron laser and a 0.9999 micron laser which we combine through some beam-combiner optics. In theory I...
  6. E

    I Dispersion: expansion of wavenumber as function of omega

    Hi! Dealing about wave propagation in a medium and dispersion, wavenumber k can be considered as a function of \omega (as done in Optics) or vice-versa (as maybe done more often in Quantum Mechanics). In the first case, k (\omega) \simeq k(\omega_0) + (\omega - \omega_0) \displaystyle \left...
  7. bananabandana

    Intuition for Rayleigh Scattering

    Is there some way to - from an intuition standpoint - justify the fact that there should be a factor of ##a^{6}##, (where ##a ## is the particle diameter) in the Rayleigh Scattering formula? I've seen a few sources hint that there should be. I can follow the derivation from e.g a Lorentz atom...
  8. S

    Waves & Optics Homework: Polarization Through Weakly Scattering Fluid

    Homework Statement An unpolarised light beam is shone horizontally through a cubic tank filled with weakly scattering fluid. Can vertically polarized light leave through the sides that are parallel to the beam’s propagation direction? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution My thinking is...
  9. J

    Waves and optics pertaining to sinusoidal waves

    Homework Statement https://us-mg5.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=768lpb97vo87e#4636076903 The picture displayed shows three graphs and in each problem the objective is to find the phase constant. I'm having an issue attempting any form of strategy to solve these problems. Any help would be...
  10. P

    Diffraction Grating problem (waves and optics)

    Homework Statement Visible light passes through a diffraction grating that has 900 slits per centimeter, and the interference pattern is observed on a screen that is 2.58m from the grating. In the first-order spectrum, maxima for two different wavelengths are separated on the screen by 3.16...
  11. A

    How Does a Diverging Lens Affect Image Position and Size?

    1.An illuminated arrow 2 cm high is placed 108 cm from a diverging lens of focal length-36 cm. Find the position and height of the image. The answers are supposed to be -27 cm and 0.5 cm. Any help would be great. Thanks:!)
  12. S

    What Is the Maximum Length of a Plasma Tube to Excite Only One Frequency?

    Homework Statement Alright this is from the MIT intro series book by AP French on Waves and Optics, Problem 6-10 (If you happen to have the book) "A laser can be made by placing a plasma tube in an optical presonany caity formed by two highly reflecting faltmirrors, which act like rigid...
  13. L

    What is the minimum thickness of a thin film for maximum light reflection?

    1984 PHYSICS B WAVES The surface of a glass plate (index of refraction n3 = 1.50) is coated with a transparent thin film (index of refraction n2 = 1.25). A beam of monochromatic light of wavelength 6.0 X 10-7 meter traveling in air (index of refraction n1 = 1.00) is incident normally on...
  14. E

    Waves & Optics: Bright Fringe Width Calculation

    The width of a slit is 19.3 mm. Light with a wavelength of 505 nm passes through the slit and falls on a screen that is located 48.7 cm away. In the diffraction pattern, find the width of the bright fringe that is next to the central bright fringe. Assuming that the speed of sound is 340 m/s...
  15. W

    How Do Diffraction Gratings Affect Light Wavelengths?

    Would appreciate anyhelp to solving any of these questions ty. 1 A diffraction grating of pitch 3 .27mm is illuminated at normal incidence with light comprised of various wavelengths. If components of wavelength 495nm, 625nm and 990nm are present find:- a) the angular positions of the...