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 Laser Communication Works

When speed is everything and light marks the universe's speed limit, lasers are bound to be the answer. At least, that's what NASA and a bunch of Wall Street types are betting on.


How Light Works

How Light Works

Light is explained in this article. Learn about light. See more »

Why does a mirror exchange left and right but not up and down?

Why does a mirror exchange left and right but not up and down? Learn why mirrors don't reflect vertical changes. See more »

When I stand at the water's edge and look out over the ocean, how far away is the horizon?

When I stand at the water's edge and look out over the ocean, how far away is the horizon? Is there an equation to figure it out? See more »

How does a Fresnel lens work?

I have a thin piece of plastic mounted on the back window of my RV. It magnifies things so I can see better when I'm backing up. How can such a thin piece of plastic magnify things? A regular glass magnifying lens would have to be curved on both sides and much thicker. See more »

How Lasers Work

How Lasers Work

Lasers are used in CD players, dental drills, eye surgery, and even tattoo removal. But what exactly is a laser? Learn about the various types of lasers and how they generate such concentrated light. See more »