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Engineering LibreTexts

Optical Properties

  • Page ID
    • Dielectric Polarization
      Dielectric polarization is the term given to describe the response of materials to an externally applied electric field. The factors that determine the polarization of a material depends on the applied field and the chemical composition of that material. Dielectric polarization is an important consideration when choosing materials to make capacitors and other circuit devices. 
    • Dispersion Relation
      Dispersion is the change of the index of refraction of a material as a function of the wavelength of light that is traveling through the material. The dispersion relation relates the index of refraction of a material to a wavelength of light traveling through the material.
    • Metallic Reflection
      Metals are known for having high reflectivity, which explains their shiny appearance. Since the reflectance of light by metals is high, their absorption must also be high, because a high reflectance implies that light cannot penetrate the metal with considerable efficiency. The absorption of light can happen due to lattice vibrations and excitation of electrons to higher energy levels. Also, high reflectance of light in lower frequencies is associated to high conductivity of the metal.
    • Optical Computing
      Optical computing is the use of photons in computation. Photons, effectively massless and incredibly fast, are generated using diodes or lasers. The photons take the place of electrons in more traditional computers and are used to represent the flow of data. Lacking the size limitation of electrons, photon based transistors can be incredibly small which increases potential computing power.
    • Plasma Displays
      Plasma display panels (PDPs) are a type of screen display that utilizes gases to emit light to form pixels on to a glass plate which displays an image. Plasma displays are a form of flat panel display which are lighter weight, thinner and less power consuming than the cathode ray tube (CRT) screens. They are mostly used for larger televisions.
    • Polarization of Waves
      Classification of Polarization in electromagnetic waves are defines and introduced
    • Snell's Law
      Introduction to Snell's Law, its cause, and applications in Fiber Optics.