Numerical Methods for Optical Thin Films

Producing thin films that meet the optical requirements of various end applications is a daunting task. In this article, the author discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various numerical methods used during the design and manufacturing process. more>>

Methodologies and Practices for Designing Efficient Light Source Reflectors

This article highlights the major factors and considerations required to efficiently collect and redirect the flux from a light source. A discussion of light source models, measurement techniques, and units is presented, followed by a discussion of several unique reflector designs. more>>

Shedding Some Light on the Blue Vein Enigma

Alex Vitkin takes a look at an interesting visual mystery—why veins appear blue. He finds his answer in retinex theory. more>>

Scatter-minded: Part II

Warning: Chances are you'll never view the world quite the same once you've done the following experiment! On a bright, sunny day, go outside and look at your thumb. In particular, look very closely at your thumbnail while holding it in direct sunlight (use a small, high-powered magnifier if you've got one handy). You'll see a myriad of tiny grainy looking colored specks. What's going on? You're seeing an effect, most commonly observed with lasers—called speckle by scatter-minded individuals. more>>


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