Optics

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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Is there a light 10 billion times brighter than the sun?

The Diamond synchrotron is a massive facility that houses a beam of light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. But is that all it does?


New Eyewear Protects Your Identity from Facial Recognition Cameras

Light-reflective glasses promise to foil CCTV cameras. Here's how.

Samsung Eyes Projecting Holograms From TV — No 3-D Glasses Required

Electronics giant Samsung reportedly has patented 3-D TV tech that projects a hologram so that viewers don't have to wear special glasses.

Why Spinning Blades Look Weird on TV

Helicopters, ceiling fans, even tricked-out car tire rims: Sometimes they can even look like they're going backward, or bending.

Scientists Create Mind-blowing 3-D Acoustic Holograms

A wall of Lego-like bricks creates the illusion of hyper-vivid, three-dimensional audio, altering sound waves much like a hologram does visible light.

How Optical Illusions Work

It's a young lady! It's an old woman! It's a blue dress! No, it's gold! Why are we fooled by optical illusions and what do they tell us about how the brain works?

Lucky Tetrachromats See World With Up to 100 Million Colors

Whereas the majority of sighted people see a world with just a million colors, or fewer if you're color-blind.

What is cosmological redshift?

Cosmological redshift: sounds like the latest blockbuster coming to a theater near you, doesn't it? In reality, it has to do with how light itself travels -- and understanding how it works is essential to advanced space telescope technology.

How Impossible Colors Work

What if there are colors within the visible spectrum that our brains can't perceive? In fact, there are. They're called impossible colors. But some researchers think they've discovered a way to see the impossible.

How can a telescope see through time?

Light travels pretty rapidly, but when it comes to faraway galaxies, that light takes a while to reach our telescopes. In fact, the light you see might actually be from billions of years ago.

How much does light weigh?

Seven ounces a ray! No, that's a lie. Measuring the weight of light is not as straightforward as that. So what's the more complicated explanation?