Basic Physical Optics
Leno S Pedrotti
DOI: 10.1117/3.784938.ch4
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Excerpt

In this module, we concentrate on light waves and away from light rays, as covered in Module 1.3. In so doing, we move from a concern over the propagation of light energy along straight-line segments to one that includes the spreading of light energy-a fundamental behavior of all wave motion. With wave optics-commonly referred to as physical optics-we are able to account for important phenomena, such as interference, diffraction, and polarization. The study of these phenomena lays the foundation for an understanding of such devices and concepts as holograms, interferometers, thin-film interference, coatings for antireflection (AR) and high reflection (HR), gratings, polarizers, quarter-wave plates, and laser beam divergence in the near and far field.

© 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

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