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Hobbyist optics?

  1. Jun 15, 2008 #1

    I have been interested in gaining practical experience in working with optics. In particular, I would like to become sufficiently adept to build, say, a microscope. I was hoping that there would be a do-it-yourself optics community (similar to electronics hobbyists), but am having trouble finding such resources and sources of parts. The only optics vendors I've found so far seem to be targeting researchers, meaning that the costs far exceed my "funds." Does anyone have any suggestions?

    On a slightly different note, I am also interested in a chemistry kit to experiment with. I would greatly appreciate some advice on how to get started in both these areas.

    To explain my background, I am a college senior in physics/electrical engineering. The optics/chemistry kits would be for personal exploration.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2008 #2
    I think the problem is that it is a non-trivial task to fabricate and polish the lenses that are necessary. Although, I have been wanting to build my own Newtonian telescope for a while now (I had build a tabletop version to pass my ugrad optics class).

    I'm assuming you are proficient with geometrical optics, being a senior and all. I'd say, figure out what optics are necessary for what you want to build and order just those parts. In a few months, when you want to build something else, order those parts. In a few years, you'll be a regular hobbyist.

    Also, if your dept. has lab space to do optics demos, would you be able to try out your designs on their equipment? I'm sure talking to the right person, seeing your enthusiasm for physics, they will be more than glad to let you in there as necessary.
  4. Jun 15, 2008 #3

    Dr Transport

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  5. Jun 15, 2008 #4
    A few more sources...
    http://www.sciplus.com/" [Broken]

    http://www.analyticalsci.com/" [Broken]

    http://surplusshed.com" [Broken]

    http://www.alltronics.com" [Broken]

    http://www.coloradophotonics.com" [Broken]

    http://eolsurplus.com" [Broken]

    http://www.herbach.com" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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