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Home » Physics Homework Help » Optical Physics
Optical Physics
Optical Physics is one of the major contributions in Physics. Homework help bring this very important aspect of Physics Homework Help for all who have interested in the non-lasting events and concepts of Optics. For those many important topics are mentioned with full details and their solved examples, if there is any problem arising in any topic related to this aspect our expert tutors will help you 24×7 with 100% perfection. Now let us know first how Optics are interrelated and how they will help us in day-to-day life and most importantly how they work and what are their main concepts.

Optics is the branch of physics that is concerned with light and its properties. Physicists who focus on optics study the properties of light. They also apply these properties to phenomena such as color, mirrors, and lenses.  Light is a form of energy that travels in a wave with both electric and magnetic behavior. Light, therefore, is called an electromagnetic wave. Other electromagnetic waves include radio waves, microwaves, and x rays. Light waves are transverse waves, in other words, they oscillate perpendicular to their direction of travel. A wave that oscillates up and down is vertically polarized, and one that oscillates from side to side is horizontally polarized. Polarized light oscillates in one direction. The light from a common light source, such as a light bulb or the sun, is not polarized. Light waves originating from these sources can oscillate at any orientation. When the light passes through a polarizing filter, such as polarized sunglasses, it exits as polarized light. The filter only passes light waves that are oscillating in a certain direction.

Electromagnetic waves occur at different frequencies. The frequency of a wave is the number of wave crests that pass by a certain point in a given amount of time, usually expressed as waves per second. The frequency of a given light wave is directly related to color. Isaac Newton was the first scientist to study color. He passed sunlight through a prism and found that it could be separated into beams of light of different colors. He showed that visible light actually consists of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet light. The color of an object is due to the frequencies of light absorbed by the object. Most objects absorb the majority of the frequencies of light. Any frequencies that are not absorbed by the object are reflected, giving the object a particular color. If an object absorbs all light except the frequencies found in the red region of the spectrum, the object appears red. Red light is reflected off of the object. White is actually not a color, but a combination of all colors, occurring when all frequencies of light are reflected. Likewise, black is actually the absence of reflected light, occurring when all frequencies of light are absorbed.

Constructive interference occurs when two or more light waves meet in phase, meaning all of their crests (top of the wave) meet at the same time. This usually results in a more intense or bright resulting light. When the light waves meet out of phase--the crest of one wave meets at the trough (bottom of the wave) of another--destructive interference takes place. Because the two wavelengths are out of phase, they cancel each other and no light is visible. The concept of interference is important for understanding the phenomena of diffraction. Thomas Young's double-slit interference experiment is a classic explanation for diffraction, which is the bending of light as it passes around an object. Young made two small slits relatively close to each other on a dark board. When he shined a light through the slits and observed the light on a screen, he noticed that the light did not pass directly though in two straight lines. Instead, there was a pattern of alternating bright and dark bands of light. This resulted from the light waves fanning out-diffracting-as they passed through the barrier slits, much like water ripples when it passes from a small opening into a larger body of water. Because light waves were passing through two slits, two fans were created that overlapped at certain points. Some of these points experienced destructive interference, while other were constructive, thus leading to the alternating bands of light. The dark bands occurred when light waves canceled each other out.

The most important other phenomena associated with light called reflection and refraction. Light is reflected when the light waves bounce off of something and travel in a new direction. A surface that causes light to bounce back is called a reflective surface. A mirror is an example of a reflective surface. The angle an outgoing light ray makes with a reflective surface will be equal to the angle of the incoming light ray. To an observer, a reflected light ray will appear to come from behind the reflecting surface. For instance, when a person stands in front of a mirror, they will see an image of themselves that appears to be behind the mirror. Because the image appears to originate from an imaginary point, the image is called a virtual image. A virtual image created by a mirror is the same size as the original object. Refraction can occur when light travels through one medium into another. The velocity of light is different for various materials. For instance, the velocity of light in air is slower than the its velocity in vacuum and slower still in glass or plastic. Under the right circumstances, the light ray will be refracted back into the original material. In a sense, the light ray reflects off the boundary. For example, if a waterproof flashlight is held in a bathtub of water at different angles, a particular angle can be found where the beam does not escape the water to shine light through the air above the water surface. The light is refracted at the surface of the water back into the water instead of being passed through the water and into the air. This angle is called the critical angle. Any angle beyond the critical angle will cause total internal reflection.

One of the major another form of light that has become indispensable in society is the laser. The light in lasers results from photons emitted by highly excited atoms returning to their ground state. The photons are harnessed between two mirrors where they continue to collide until they collectively exit in one direction at a specific wavelength. Laser light is a very precise, specific wavelength that can be altered to match the absorption of almost any substance. The laser light will only damage materials whose absorption band matches the lasers wavelength. This controlled intensity makes the laser a handy tool for several applications ranging from surgery to reading compact disks.

Some of the main topics related to Optics are:

1. Diffraction and polarization
2. Lens
3. Method to find speed of light
4. Photoelectric effect and dual nature of matter
5. Rainbow
6. Reflection and diffusion
7. Refraction
8. Simple microscope or magnifier
9. Spectrum
10. Wave optics
11. Astronomical telescope
12. Compound microscope
13. Defects of vision
14. Optical Instruments
15. Simple microscope or magnifying glass

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