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Lesson 8 – Prisms and Total Internal Reflection

Posted on: Monday, April 4th, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

Besides lenses and mirrors, prisms are another group of common optical elements. White light that enters a prism leaves as many different colors due to the different refractive indexes of each color’s wavelength (a topic that will be covered in further depth in the next post). Besides refracting white light, prisms have another useful property […]

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Lesson 7 – The Eyepiece and Lens Requirements

Posted on: Monday, March 21st, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

In the previous post, we looked at how changing the focal lengths produced different images (and virtual images) for SINGLE lenses. Sometimes, however, a system of lenses is needed to produce a desired image. A system is composed of two or more lenses assembled together. A good example of a system is the eyepiece of […]

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Lesson 6 – Focal Length and Applications of Lenses

Posted on: Saturday, March 5th, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

Focal length is important not just in terms of positive and negative. For convex lenses, different focal lengths can have drastically different images. If an object (u) is at a distance greater than two times its focal length (2f), then its image focal length (v) is between f and 2f (written as f < v […]

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Lesson 5 – Intro to Optical Components

Posted on: Friday, February 18th, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

The properties of light evident in nature are utilized by humans through instruments such as lenses and mirrors. While one might think that glass is the main material used to make lenses, resin has become the most common material due to its lightness yet hardness (resistance to scratching). Lenses refract light while mirrors reflect light. […]

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Lesson 4 – How Does Light Travel? Part II: Refraction

Posted on: Friday, February 4th, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

Why does a pencil look like it is snapped in half when partially placed in a container of water? The short answer is refraction. A more detailed explanation is that the rays of light bends when they pass from one medium to another. This bending of light from air to water produces a virtual image […]

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Lesson 3 – How Does Light Travel? Part I: Diffraction and Reflection

Posted on: Monday, January 24th, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

A total solar eclipse is perhaps one of the most dramatic examples of a shadow. When the moon is positioned between the earth and the sun, the moon’s shadow is cast onto the earth forming an outer shadow experiencing a partial eclipse and an inner shadow experiencing a total eclipse. A Total Solar Eclipse. [1] […]

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Lesson 2 – How to Describe Light

Posted on: Monday, January 10th, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

Light that the human eye can see is just a small sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum. We use wavelength (λ), measured in nanometers (nm) or micrometers (1 μm = 1000 nm), to distinguish and describe the types of light. Visible light lies in the range of 380 nm to 780 nm with ultraviolet light being […]

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Lesson 1 – What is Light?

Posted on: Monday, January 3rd, 2022  In: Learning Optics with Austin

Optics is the study of light. The root of the word “opt” relates to the eye and vision, while the suffix “ics” refers to a science or discipline. [1] With that enLIGHTenment, a discussion about optics is often a discussion about light, its behaviors, and its properties. One common starting point is to ask “What […]

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