Q:

What is optical density?

A:

The optical density of a substance is the logarithmic ratio of the intensity of transmitted light to the intensity of the incident light passing through the substance. It is otherwise measured as the absorbed radiation of the corresponding wavelength. Optical density refers to the absorbance of a substance.

The optical density of a substance is also referred to as the index of refraction of the substance. This indicates the number of times the speed of light is reduced in that substance compared to its speed in vacuum. The speed of light in vacuum is 3 x 10^8 meters per second.

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    What are optical fibers made from?

    A:

    Commercial optical fiber cables use highly purified glass for their cores, glass or polymers for their cladding, and polyurethane for their jackets. Some optical fiber cables use plastic cores, which are cheaper; however, this type of cable has a higher signal loss and works at shorter ranges than glass. Both types transmit light signals using reflection along the axis of the core.

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    How do optical lenses work?

    A:

    Optical lenses use the principle of refraction to focus light rays or disperse them. Refraction is the bending of a ray of light when it moves between media of different densities at an angle.

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    What are some examples of optical devices?

    A:

    Optical devices include magnifying lenses, spectacles, binoculars, microscopes, telescopes and lasers. Optical devices manipulate light waves to aid in viewing or analyzing those waves to determine properties of the object in view.

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    How do optical cables work?

    A:

    According to HowStuffWorks, optical cables work by lining the inside of a wire with thin strands of glass and coating those strands of glass with two layers of plastic. The plastic creates a mirror-like effect around the glass that allows for internal reflection to help light travel through the optic strands.

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