Feature Articles

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.

by J.A. Dobrowolski
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.

by William H. Lagerway
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.

by I. Alex Vitkin
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.

by Michael E. Knotts

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