Optics is the study of the properties and behavior of light. In this section you can learn about everything from holograms to lasers and lenses.

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How Telescopes Work

For centuries, curious observers have probed the heavens with the aid of telescopes. Today, both amateur and professional scopes magnify images in a variety of ways.


What is cosmological redshift?

What is cosmological redshift?

Cosmological redshift: sounds like the latest blockbuster coming to a theater near you, doesn't it? Find out what cosmological redshifts are all about. See more »

How Impossible Colors Work

How Impossible Colors Work

Impossible colors are within the visible spectrum, but our brains can't perceive them. Learn more about how impossible colors work. See more »

How can a telescope see through time?

How can a telescope see through time?

Telescopes help us see time in a new way. Find out how the speed of light plays a role in how telescopes alter time. See more »

How much does light weigh?

How much does light weigh?

How can you measure what light weighs? Learn how much light weighs at HowStuffWorks. See more »

How Laser Communication Works

How Laser Communication Works

Laser communications may be a boon for outer space and here on Earth. Learn more about laser communications at HowStuffWorks.com. See more »

How Kaleidoscopes Work

How Kaleidoscopes Work

Kaleidoscopes have been around since the early 1800s. But how do these glass gadgets operate? Read more about kaleidoscopes at HowStuffWorks. See more »

Quiz: A Wardrobe of Invisible Cloaks

Quiz: A Wardrobe of Invisible Cloaks

Is an invisibility cloak possible? Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the technologies out there that are making invisibility cloaks a reality. See more »

What are the colors in the visible light spectrum?

All colors that you see fall into the visible light spectrum. Learn about the colors in the visible light spectrum in this article. See more »

How Scanning Electron Microscopes Work

How Scanning Electron Microscopes Work

Scanning electron microscopes give scientists an incredible level of magnification. Learn about scanning electron microscopes. See more »

How Laser Analysis Works

How Laser Analysis Works

Laser analysis is advancing everything from forensics and archaeology to health care and art history. Learn how laser analysis technology works. See more »