Physics 428 - Applied Optics - Fall 2005 (instructor - Dr. Brian Davies)
The following are links to online (web-based) simulations and animations to complement the textbook, Optics, 4th ed., by Eugene Hecht. These have been chosen to illustrate the basic physics of the material in Hecht's book. Where I think a topic should have some simulation, I have indicated the topic without a link, and am searching for a suitable animation. Volunteers are welcome to suggest (or write!) a suitable simulation for these topics. I have not attempted to link to the large amount of historical and applications-oriented material on the web. Several instructors at other universities have long lists of links to interesting sites, which are listed in a section at the end of this page.
Chapter Chapter Title
1. A Brief History.
2. Wave Motion.
Relation between circular motion and wave motion
Simulations of traveling waves and reflections from fixed and free boundaries (animated gif, not an applet)
Simulation of waves on a string, consisting of springs and masses (use cursor to shake the left end)
3. Electromagnetic Theory, Photons, and Light.
Phase of harmonic waves and complex representation.
Plane waves and meaning of k (dot) r term in wave equation.
Spherical waves and cylindrical waves.
Faraday's Law of Induction
Ampere's Circuital Law
Transverse EM Waves
Plane-polarized EM wave, showing E and B fields
Poynting Vector and Irradiance
Photon Counting, granularity in image formation
Radiation from an accelerated charge (linear, oscillating, synchrotron-circular, or wiggler-sinusoidal motion)
Field of a moving point charge (even more options, different user interface)
Synchrotron radiation pattern, relativistic "searchlight"
Electric dipole radiation
Radiation from a vertical half-dipole and AM radio stations
EM waves of various types
QuickTime Movies of EM Waves (from Iowa State Univ.)
4. The Propagation of Light.
Forward scattering and propagation from Huygen's principle
Origin of the index of refraction
Reflection and the law of reflection
Ray picture of reflection
Reflection and refraction - simulation and multipart tutorial (Huygen's principle)
Reflection and refraction showing wavelets from Huygen's principle
Fermat principle for reflection and refraction
Fermat's principle in modern terms: stationary paths (EF Taylor?)
EM waves at interface, boundary conditions
Fresnel equations, transmittance, and reflectance - intensity of transmitted and reflected light beams
Total Internal Reflection
Reflection and refraction from underwater (flashlight model)
reflection of beams at various angles, with intensity simulation
World above water surface, as viewed by a fish !
Refraction at a planar surface -
viewed by fish or fisherman
Dispersion equation derived from driven, damped oscillator model
Mixing colors (RGB scheme)
Feynman's approach (wish list: rewrite E. F. Taylor's simulations in Java)
5. Geometrical Optics.
Refraction at spherical surfaces
Thin lens - locating images by ray tracing (displays distances, focal length, and magnification) (broken link?)
Virtual Optics Bench (use a single lens) (alternate web site, with short instructions)
Diverging Lens (short exercise)
Lens within and without a dielectric of higher index.
Longitudinal magnification of finite object (or see Thin lens combinations)
Combinations of lenses - see the Virtual Optics Bench
Thin lens combinations, including longitudinal magnification, telescope, and microscope
Apertures, field stops, entrance and exit pupils
f-number and camera lenses
Plane mirrors and inversions - two mirrors at 90 degree angular separation
Aspherical mirrors - elementary simulation of parabolic mirror
Spherical mirrors - locating images by ray tracing (displays distances, focal length, and magnification) (broken link?)
Spherical mirrors - also see the Virtual Optics Bench
Spherical mirrors -
toy in Physics
office with real image of coins (is this simulation correct?)
Dispersing Prisms (minimum deviation simulation, or try the following simulation)
Prism - reflection and refraction (no dispersion)
Fiber optics - propagation of light
Fiber optics - numerical aperture
Fiber optics - stepped vs. graded index
Fiber optics - modal dispersion simulated with propagating beams
The Human Eye
Defects in eyes and corrective lenses
Magnifying glasses and eyepieces
Microscope, Camera, Telescopes
Adaptive optics and phase conjugation
6. More on Geometrical Optics.
Demonstration of a thick lens (using matrix transformations, with no spherical aberration.)
thick lens simulation with ray tracing
Spherical Aberration (demonstration of spherical aberration that occurs with a real mirror)
GRIN lenses (see this PDF document about Gradium(R) lenses on the LightPath Technologies website)
7. The Superposition of Waves.
Addition of waves of same frequency
Standing waves (see the third animated gif in this page, also see the fourth one for beats)
Beats - shows two traveling waves of different frequency and the resulting beats
For a demonstration of dispersion in water waves, use the group velocity simulation, and set the group velocity at 0.5.
Fourier synthesis (alternate link)
Fourier series demonstration, with variable number of terms and better sound
Fourier integrals and transforms, see this description from a review of Fourier methods (Ulm, Germany)
Fourier transform of a Gaussian and a Step Function (choose DemoFFT1 and then DemoFFT2 from the menu on the left)
Pulses and wavepackets (choose Free Particle 2 from the menu on the left and stop when it hits the right barrier)
Wave Packet Simulator (not working on my PC?)
Polarization Exploration (including linear, circular, and elliptical)
Circular polarization demo from James Wyant's web site
simulator with arbitrary elliptical polarization (click on the Polarization
Polarization of a plane EM wave - showing components and E field vector
Three stacked polarizers (rotate with cursor)
Twisting light (with a large number of polarizers)
Polarization by scattering - see the "Scattering" module in WebTop
Polarization by reflection - see the "Reflection/Refraction" module in WebTop
Double slit interference (emphasizing one particular point)
Interference between two waves from point sources
Ripple tank simulation (with 1 to 4 sources and other combinations)
Ripple tank simulation (add your own sources and move them around)
Multiple source interference, point and line sources - see the "Waves" module in WebTop
3 dimensional wave interference
Thin Film - showing transmitted and reflected wave
Thin film interference with white light - simulates soap film colors
Fringes from Michelson interferometer and detail about the contrast
Michelson interferometer - see the "Michelson Interferometer" module in WebTop
Fabry-Perot Etalon - see the "Fabry-Perot Etalon" module in WebTop
Calculate diffraction patterns with WebMathematica (online calculation with Mathematica on remote server!) (You can also get some great 3d effects, for example, by choosing Fraunhofer Diffraction - Circular Aperture, then using the mouse, grab the LiveGraphics3D plot in the right-center window; you can rotate it. Now press s to see stereo pictures. You will have to look "thru" the screen to get the images to appear 3d. Press shift and move the mouse to zoom or rotate about an axis perpendicular to the picture. Press the control key and move mouse to change the 3-D aspect. You can even get the image to spin continuously if you drag the mouse and release the left button while dragging.)
11. Fourier Optics.
12. Basics of Coherence Theory.
13. Modern Optics: Lasers and Other Topics.
Demonstration of a stable laser cavity.
Blackbody radiation (with spectrum and your choice of temperature)
More optics links:
Webtop is an extensive collection of optics simulations which you may download to your own computer for use in this course.
Optics Bench with examples of scripting, sample Physlet-based problems, and advanced examples
Physlet Resource CD (including links to Physlet collections used at several other universities for various courses)
Physlets Home Page
Applets search page
Directory of Optics Education Programs
Physlets by Paul Falstad - contains some EM and Optics applets of interest
List of links written by other faculty at various institutions:
Phys. 106 at Univ. of Maryland (Spring 1998) - Ted Einstein's list of links
Applied Phys. 216 at Harvard - R.Victor Jones's list of links to tutorials and a list of links to other web resources
Univ. of Aberdeen - list of links