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Diffraction Gratings: Selection GuidelinesDiffraction Gratings: Selection Guidelines
David Ventola, Optometrics Corp., an Omega Optical Holdings company
Diffraction gratings are optical components with a periodic structure that separate light into beams traveling in predictable directions based on their wavelength. The grating acts as the dispersive...
What Is Photonics?What Is Photonics?
Photonics Media Editors
Photonics is the study of light and other types of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The impact of photonics on research, technology, navigation, culture, astronomy, forensics, and...
Optical System Optimization: Analyzing the Effects of Stray LightOptical System Optimization: Analyzing the Effects of Stray Light
Richard Pfisterer, Photon Engineering LLC
Electrical engineers are very familiar with the effects of shot noise, thermal noise, flicker noise and crosstalk, and recognize how these effects can reduce the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in their...
Measuring Aspheres: Selecting the Best TechniqueMeasuring Aspheres: Selecting the Best Technique
Amy Frantz, Edmund Optics Inc.
The benefits of aspheric lenses are numerous: They allow for a reduction in spherical aberrations and are ideal for focusing or collimating light, as they can achieve a low ƒ-number. Aspheres...
Aspheric Lenses: Optimizing the DesignAspheric Lenses: Optimizing the Design
Jeremy Govier, Edmund Optics Inc.
With the understanding of aspheric lens manufacturing provided in part one of this article, designers have the tools to optimize their aspheres; the next step is to understand how to specify and...
Flat Optics: Considerations When BuyingFlat Optics: Considerations When Buying
Michael Naselaris, Sydor Optics Inc.
Flat optics generally perform three main functions: They transmit light (windows), reflect light (mirrors), and fold light (prisms). While most optical manufacturers make spherical and flat optics, a...
Aspheric Lenses: Design ConsiderationsAspheric Lenses: Design Considerations
Jeremy Govier, Edmund Optics Inc.
Aspheric surfaces are powerful tools that combine the optical corrections of multiple lenses into a single element (Figure 1) and affect performance in ways that spherical optics cannot. For example,...
Optical Design Software: Fundamentals and PotentialOptical Design Software: Fundamentals and Potential
Richard Pfisterer, Photon Engineering LLC
Optical design software allows the user to develop a configuration of optical elements that manipulate the trajectory of light for the purposes of creating an image, illuminating a target, coupling...
Understanding Surface Quality: A Practical GuideUnderstanding Surface Quality: A Practical Guide
John C. Smith, Rocky Mountain Instrument Co. (RMI)
Surface quality has become one of the most poorly understood specifications in the optics industry. A significant portion of the confusion stems from the two major competing (and largely...
Optical Materials: Double-Sided Lapping and PolishingOptical Materials: Double-Sided Lapping and Polishing
Michael Naselaris, Sydor Optics Inc.
Double-sided processing is a batch-type process that uses planetary action — generally with loose, abrasive particles suspended in a liquid vehicle — to abrade material almost equally...
Ultraviolet Filters: Past and PresentUltraviolet Filters: Past and Present
Sarah Locknar, PhD, Omega Optical LLC, an Omega Optical Holdings company
In their earliest forms, UV bandpass filters that were optimized for wavelengths less than 400 nm, such as the Schott UG or the Hoya U-series, were constructed of absorbing compounds in glass. Such...
Plastic Optics: Specifying Injection-Molded Polymer OpticsPlastic Optics: Specifying Injection-Molded Polymer Optics
William S. Beich, GS PLASTIC OPTICS
The use of precision polymer optics is becoming an increasing necessity today as products demand sophisticated light handling components to achieve desired results. Polymer optics can be thought of...
Excimer Optics: High Power Demands High ReliabilityExcimer Optics: High Power Demands High Reliability
Michael A. Case, Teledyne Princeton Instruments, Business Unit of Teledyne Technologies
The first high-reflectance mirror coatings for the UV and vacuum UV (VUV) were of the Al + MgF2 type produced in the late 1950s. Coatings of this design are still used today for multigas cavity...
Passive Athermalization: Maintaining Optical Performance Over TemperaturePassive Athermalization: Maintaining Optical Performance Over Temperature
Janos Engineering, Janos Technology LLC
For rotationally symmetric optical systems, either the lens or the detector moves along the optical axis to maintain optical performance. If the compensating axial motion is accomplished without the...
Thin-Film Coatings: A Buyers' GuideThin-Film Coatings: A Buyers' Guide
Trey Turner and Roger Kirschner, Research Electro-Optics Inc. (REO)
What are thin-film coatings? The purpose of any optical thin-film coating is to modify the transmittance and reflectance properties of the substrate material to which they are applied. Most coatings...
Optical Delay Lines: Key to Time-Resolved MeasurementsOptical Delay Lines: Key to Time-Resolved Measurements
MKS/Newport
One of the most critical elements of any time-resolved spectroscopy and dynamics experiment is the optical delay line. A typical optical delay line consists of a retroreflector or folding mirrors on...
PressurizationPressurization
Beryllium Mirrors: Refinements Enable New ApplicationsBeryllium Mirrors: Refinements Enable New Applications
Vladimir Vudler and Peter Richard, Hardric Laboratories, Inc.
With a specific gravity of 1.85 g/cm3, beryllium is the lightest metal that is workable. It is 45 percent lighter than aluminum and approximately five times as stiff. Its stiffness to weight ratio...
Rules of ThumbRules of Thumb
Photonics Rules of Thumb Scientists and engineers tend to want to answer simple relational questions with a blackboard covered with equations, even when questioners just want a rough estimate to...
Component Choices: Avoiding Tolerancing MistakesComponent Choices: Avoiding Tolerancing Mistakes
Warren J. Smith, Rockwell Collins Optronics
To the novice or casual user of optics, the acquisition of an optical system can be a very difficult experience. Failure to understand the ground rules can result in unnecessarily high cost, late...
Illumination Design and Analysis Software: A Vital Tool in the Designer’s KitIllumination Design and Analysis Software: A Vital Tool in the Designer’s Kit
Breault Research Organization, Inc.
Illumination design has developed rapidly to include not only automotive headlamps and street lamps, but also backlit displays, fluorescent panel lighting, light-emitting diode or laser sources, and...
Lens Aberrations: Avoiding Defects in ImageryLens Aberrations: Avoiding Defects in Imagery
Bruce H. Walker, Walker Associates
A lens collects light from a point on an object and focuses it to a corresponding conjugate point on an image. Under most conditions, the lens fails at this task because of some error in the...
Common Lens FormulasCommon Lens Formulas
Acousto-Optic DevicesAcousto-Optic Devices
ACOUSTO-OPTIC SCANNING DEVICES: CHARACTERISTICS MODULATORS Material Bandwidth (MHz) Rise Time (ns) Acousto Input Power (W) (Saturation) Material Wavelength Range...
Diamond Machining: Ultraprecision Machine TechnologyDiamond Machining: Ultraprecision Machine Technology
Engineering Staff, AMETEK Precitech, Inc.
Ultraprecision machining can be defined in general terms as the removal of material from a substrate utilizing a machine tool that operates at a resolution of 10 nm (0.4 μin.) or less. The...
Optical System Design: Keeping the Coatings in MindOptical System Design: Keeping the Coatings in Mind
JDSU
An optical coating engineer is frequently confronted with a difficult specification for a coating. Often the difficulty in the specification results from the particular form of the optical system. If...
Cleaning Optics: Choosing the Best MethodCleaning Optics: Choosing the Best Method
CVI Laser Optics
Optics can be contaminated in many ways. Contamination can be kept to a minimum by returning the optics to their case after use or by covering the optics for protection from the outside environment....
Digital Still Cameras: The Changing Face of ImagingDigital Still Cameras: The Changing Face of Imaging
Morio Onoe, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
The digital camera represents an integration of optics, mechanics and electronics consisting of three layers (Figures 1a, b and c). The top and the middle layers are printed circuit boards (PCBs),...
Filters: Glossary, Equations, ParametersFilters: Glossary, Equations, Parameters
JDSU
Attentuation Region (or Blocking) The spectral region over which very low transmission is required. Attenuation requirements are generally specified in percent transmission over a given spectral...
Camera Resolution: Combining Detector and Optics PerformanceCamera Resolution: Combining Detector and Optics Performance
Gerald C. Holst, JCD Publishing
Camera resolution depends upon the optical blur diameter and the detector size. Schade combined these to create an equivalent resolution that is a function of Fλ/d where F is the focal ratio,...
Gaussian and Newtonian Thin Lens FormulasGaussian and Newtonian Thin Lens Formulas
Equation (1) is known as the Gaussian form of the lens equation, after the mathematician Karl F. Gauss. Equation (2), first derived by Sir Isaac Newton, is the Newtonian form of a lens equation. The...
Nano-Optics Technology: Optical AlchemyNano-Optics Technology: Optical Alchemy
Hubert Kostal, NanoOpto Corp.
Optics today needs alchemy, and the forces that motivate microchip technology are a key reason why. Today, light can transmit and process digital information as well as electricity can — in...
Nano-Optics: New Rules for Optical ComponentsNano-Optics: New Rules for Optical Components
Hubert Kostal, NanoOpto Corp.
When physical structures get very small — on the order of molecular or atomic sizes with one or more dimensions on the nanoscale — their behavior and interactions with energy, including...
Polygonal Laser Scanners: Fitting the Elements to the TaskPolygonal Laser Scanners: Fitting the Elements to the Task
Glenn E. Stutz, Lincoln Laser Co.
Reading and writing systems for polygonal scanners differ in the use of the scanner. However, many performance characteristics are similar for both. In writing applications, a light source, usually a...
Optical Objective Systems: A Schematic GuideOptical Objective Systems: A Schematic Guide
Warren J. Smith, Rockwell Collins Optronics
Simple Meniscus Lens The simple meniscus lens is almost universally used in inexpensive cameras. To get an image of good quality it must be used with a separate aperture stop, reducing the...
Beamsplitters: A Guide for DesignersBeamsplitters: A Guide for Designers
CVI Melles Griot
Plate beamsplitters Plate beamsplitters consist of a thin plate of optical crown glass with a different type of coating deposited on each side. The first surface is coated with an all-dielectric...
Global Optimization: A Tool for Successful DesignGlobal Optimization: A Tool for Successful Design
Thomas G. Kuper and Thomas I. Harris, Optical Research Associates
Some efforts in global optimization research for optical design center around probabilistic methods such as global search. While promising for small problems with few variables, these methods...
Optical Components: Finding Your Way Through the MazeOptical Components: Finding Your Way Through the Maze
CVI Melles Griot
Lenses come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. They can be made of a single piece of glass or have multiple elements; their surfaces can be spherical, aspheric or cylindrical; they can be...
Adaptive Optics: Taming Atmospheric TurbulenceAdaptive Optics: Taming Atmospheric Turbulence
Tom Gonsiorowski, Adaptive Optics Associates, Inc., a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Systems
To Isaac Newton the problem was clear, and in 1704 he realized the effects of atmospheric turbulence on image formation. Just as heat waves shimmering above a hot patch of ground can distort our...
Photonics HandbookOptics

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