Interference by wave-front and amplitude splitting. Reply

Optics Series Lecture, Lecture – XIV, XV, XVI.

“Color of thin films, Newton’s rings, Lloyd’s mirror and Phase changes during reflection” These lecture were delivered on 16th February, 21st February and on 17th March. The lecture sessions were of 1 and 1/2 hours. The lectures were delivered to both Physics honors as well as Physics elective students on different days.

We have previously discussed what is interference and what is wave-front splitting and amplitude splitting interference. We have also discussed in much details two wave-front splitting interference viz. Young’s double slit interference (Lecture – IX) and Fresnel’s bi-prism (Lecture – XI). Today we will discuss one more wave-front splitting interference namely Lloyd’s mirror interference before moving onto the amplitude splitting interference of the Newton’s Rings. Also we will discuss two interesting and related concepts; i. Phase change on reflection and ii. Color of thin films. More…

Fermat’s Principle, a lecture in Optics. 3

Geometric Optics: When the size of objects that a wave of light interacts with are large compared to the wavelength of light λ, λ can be neglected for practical purposes and the light waves behave like rays of light. Rays of light are geometric line segments from one point of incidence of light to another. Study of optics under the limit of negligible wavelength — λ → 0, is called Geometric Optics.

Geometric Optics can be studied using Fermat’s Principle, much like motion of objects in the realm of classical mechanics are studied using Newton’s laws of motion. To know the basic grounding of Fermat’s Principle follow the links to read two articles which expound the subject matter of Fermat’s Principle, art1 — detailed, historical and long, art2 — conceptual but short. More…

Optical Path and Fermat’s Principle. 7

In the last few weeks I am trying to understand why light traverses straight lines and why it refracts. The other day I saw a little mug floating inside a bucket full of water. Inside water any object would look shortened, a phenomena known as refraction. Thats because light rays would “bend” inside water (towards a direction where they have to take a shorter path) as their speed must reduce, given to the fact that in the same time in a rarer medium light would have traveled a longer distance in the exact same time, which is no longer possible due to the crowd of molecules and subatomic ghetto that it meets along its way. More…