Optical Physics Research

Optical Physics Research

Optical physics is the study of light and its interactions with matter, encompassing various phenomena, techniques, and influential scientists.

Fundamental Concepts

Key principles underlying the study of light and its properties.

Wave-Particle Duality

Light exhibits properties of both waves and particles (photons).

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Range of all types of electromagnetic radiation, from radio waves to gamma rays.

Refraction and Reflection

Light bending as it passes through materials and bouncing off surfaces.

Interference and Diffraction

Phenomena occurring when light waves overlap or pass through small apertures.

Experimental Techniques

Methods used to study and manipulate light in the laboratory.


Analysis of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.

Laser Operation

Generating coherent light through stimulated emission of photons.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Imaging technique providing high-resolution cross-sectional images.


Creating three-dimensional images by recording light fields.

Notable Researchers

Scientists who have made significant contributions to the field.

Theodore Maiman

Invented the first working laser in 1960.

Arthur Ashkin

Developed optical tweezers that use light to manipulate microscopic objects.

Donna Strickland

Co-inventor of chirped pulse amplification, which is crucial in high-intensity lasers.

Ahmed Zewail

Pioneer in femtochemistry, studying chemical reactions across extremely short timescales.

Optical Physics Research Terminology

Overview of key terms used in the study and research of light behavior and its interactions.


Basic concepts in optical physics

Wave-Particle Duality

Light exhibits properties of both waves and particles.


The bending of light as it passes between different media.


The spreading of light as it encounters an obstacle or slit.


Orientation of light wave vibrations in a specific direction.

Measurement Techniques

Ways to quantify and analyze light properties


The study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.


Technique to measure the wavelength of light using interference.


Measurement of light intensity as perceived by the human eye.

Advanced Concepts

Innovations and complex ideas in optical physics

Quantum Optics

The application of quantum mechanics to the study of optical phenomena.

Nonlinear Optics

The study of behaviors of light in nonlinear media, where the response is not directly proportional to the strength of the light field.


The science and technology of generating and controlling photons, especially in the visible and near-infrared spectrum.

Optical Physics Research Terms

Exploring key concepts in the study and application of light.

Wave Optics

Wave optics examines light's propagation as waves, involving diffraction and interference effects.


The bending of light around corners or through apertures.


The phenomenon where two waves superpose to form a resultant wave.


The orientation of light wave vibrations in a particular direction.


The fixed relationship between the phase of waves in a beam of radiation.

Geometric Optics

Focuses on the principles governing light's reflection and refraction in ray-based models.


The bouncing back of light from surfaces.


Bending of light as it passes through different mediums.


Optical devices designed to focus or disperse light rays.

Optical Instruments

Devices using geometric optics principles, like microscopes.


Studies the wave behavior of light, particularly when it encounters obstructions.


Structures with multiple slits that disperse light into several beams.

Fraunhofer Diffraction

Diffraction through a slit or aperture, observed at infinity.

Fresnel Diffraction

Near-field diffraction with complex patterns.

Zone Plates

Utilizes constructive and destructive interference to focus light.


The interaction between different wavefronts of light, creating complex patterns.

Young's Experiment

Proves the wave theory with the double-slit setup.

Newton's Rings

Circular interference patterns observed when light reflects between two surfaces.


Recording and reconstructing light fields for 3D imaging.

Michelson Interferometer

Instrument for precision measurement of light wavelengths.


Describing the directionality of light wave oscillations and its impact on light-matter interaction.

Linear Polarization

Light waves that oscillate in a single plane.

Circular Polarization

Light waves whose electric field rotates in a helical manner.


The splitting of a light ray into two rays in an anisotropic material.

Polarizing Filters

Materials that allow only light of a specific polarization to pass through.

Light Scattering

Investigating interactions leading to light's change in trajectory after hitting particles.

Rayleigh Scattering

Scattering of light by particles much smaller than the wavelength of light.

Mie Scattering

Scattering by particles about the same size as the wavelength of light.

Raman Scattering

Inelastic scattering which provides information about molecular vibrations.

Tyndall Effect

Scattering of light by particles in a colloid or very fine suspension.


The science and technology of generating and controlling photons.


Devices emitting a focused, coherent beam of photons.


Sensors of light that convert photons into electrical signals.

Fiber Optics Communication

Using light to transmit information over long distances.

Integrated Optics

Miniaturized optical components on a single substrate.


The art and technology of capturing light patterns on a medium.


The amount of light allowed to fall on a photographic medium.

Lenses and Focus

Tools for controlling the resolution and clarity of captured images.


Modify the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light reaching the film or sensor.

Digital Imaging

Capturing and processing light with electronic photo-detectors.

Optical Fiber

A flexible, transparent fiber used primarily for transmitting light for telecommunications and other purposes.

Single-Mode Fiber

Allows one transmission mode, thus reducing distortion over long distances.

Multi-Mode Fiber

Supports multiple paths or transverse modes of light.

Fiber Optic Sensors

Devices using optical fiber to measure strain, temperature, pressure, and other quantities.

Fiber Optic Connectors

Link fibers with precision to optimally transfer light.