Optics is a branch of physics that describes the behavior and properties of light and the interaction of light with matter. Optics explains and is illuminated by optical phenomena. The field of optics usually describes the behavior of visible, infrared and ultraviolet light; however because light is an electromagnetic wave, analogous phenomena occur in X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, and other forms of electromagnetic radiation. Optics can thus be regarded as a sub-field of electromagnetism. Some optical phenomena depend on the quantum nature of light and as such some areas of optics are also related to quantum mechanics. Optics has two primary branches: physical optics and geometrical optics.
Explains additive and subtractive colour mixing, the mixing of wavelengths, Newton's dispersion of white light to show the colours of the rainbow.
Explains the principles behind the pinhole camera.
Explains light in terms of photons to explain reflection, refraction and absorption.
Explains human perception of colour and optical illusions in depth with clear diagrams.
Introduces optical effects resulting from light interaction with air, dust and haze particles, ice crystals and water droplets.
Uses example of sphere on a checkerboard to show how light is refracted.
An educational tour of current research at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source. Contains information about the facility research, and teaching modules.
Timeline, interactive Java applets showing various properties of light and lenses, tutorials, and other links for students.
Tells about the science of light and answers common questions. Also explores careers in optics. From the Optical Society of America.
An overview of the basics of optics, also discusses careers in science and engineering.
Amusing guide lists various oddities about colour and light. Find trivia on 3D, mirrors, light bulbs, and contradictions about the perception of colour.
From NASA, an overview of the different types of electromagnetic waves.
Uses geometry to predict reflection from plane and spherical mirrors, and looks at how speed and wavelength varies with different media.
Explains principles of reflection, refraction, absorption and transmission to explain how objects are a particular colour.
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