optical instrument
   HOME

TheInfoList



An optical instrument (or "optic" for short) is a device that processes
light wave Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies ...
s (or
photon The photon ( el, φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of elementary particle In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be eleme ...

photon
s), either to enhance an image for viewing or to analyze and determine their characteristic properties. Common examples include
periscope Image:Periskop linsen.svg, Principle of the lens periscope. The two periscopes differ in the way they erect the image. The left one uses an erecting prism whereas the right uses an erecting lens and a second image plane. a Objective lens b Field ...

periscope
s,
microscope A microscope (from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' 'small' and ''skopeîn'' 'to look (at); examine, inspect') is a laboratory instrument used to examine objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye Naked eye, also called bare ...

microscope
s,
telescope A telescope is an optical instrument An optical instrument (or "optic" for short) is a device that processes light waves (or photon The photon (Greek: φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of elementary particle. It is the quantum of the ele ...

telescope
s, and
camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, i ...

camera
s.


Image enhancement

The first optical instruments were
telescope A telescope is an optical instrument An optical instrument (or "optic" for short) is a device that processes light waves (or photon The photon (Greek: φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of elementary particle. It is the quantum of the ele ...

telescope
s used for magnification of distant images, and
microscope A microscope (from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' 'small' and ''skopeîn'' 'to look (at); examine, inspect') is a laboratory instrument used to examine objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye Naked eye, also called bare ...

microscope
s used for magnifying very tiny images. Since the days of
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei ( , ; 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), commonly referred to as Galileo, was an astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from Pisa, in modern-day Italy. Galileo h ...

Galileo
and Van Leeuwenhoek, these instruments have been greatly improved and extended into other portions of the
electromagnetic spectrum The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency, which emphasizes the contrast to spatial frequency and angula ...

electromagnetic spectrum
. The binocular device is a generally compact instrument for both eyes designed for mobile use. A
camera A camera is an optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, i ...

camera
could be considered a type of optical instrument, with the
pinhole camera A pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens but with a tiny aperture In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels. More specifically, the aperture and focal length of an optical system determine the cone ...

pinhole camera
and ''
camera obscura A camera obscura (plural ''camerae obscurae'' or ''camera obscuras'', from Latin , "dark chamber") is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side through which an image is projected onto a wall or table opposite the hole. "Camera obs ...

camera obscura
'' being very simple examples of such devices.


Analysis

Another class of optical instrument is used to analyze the properties of
light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 ...

light
or optical materials. They include: *
Interferometer . The two light rays with a common source combine at the half-silvered mirror to reach the detector. They may either interfere constructively (strengthening in intensity) if their light waves arrive in phase, or interfere destructively (weakening i ...

Interferometer
for measuring the
interference Interference is the act of interfering, invading, or poaching. Interference may also refer to: Communications * Interference (communication), anything which alters, modifies, or disrupts a message * Adjacent-channel interference, caused by extran ...
properties of light waves *
Photometer A photometer is an instrument that measures the strength of electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is t ...

Photometer
for measuring light intensity *
Polarimeter A polarimeter is a scientific instrument used to measure the angle of rotation caused by passing polarized light through an optically active substance.
for measuring dispersion or rotation of polarized light *
Reflectometer
Reflectometer
for measuring the
reflectivity The reflectance of the surface of a material is its effectiveness in reflecting radiant energy In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , ...
of a surface or object *
Refractometer A refractometer is a laboratory or field device for the measurement of an Refractive index, index of refraction (refractometry). The index of refraction is calculated from Snell's law while for mixtures, the index of refraction can be calculated fr ...

Refractometer
for measuring
refractive index In optics, the refractive index (also known as refraction index or index of refraction) of a optical medium, material is a dimensionless number that describes how fast EM radiation, light travels through the material. It is defined as :n = \frac, ...

refractive index
of various materials, invented by
Ernst Abbe Ernst Karl Abbe HonFRMS (23 January 1840 – 14 January 1905) was a German physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, a ...

Ernst Abbe
*
Spectrometer A spectrometer () is a scientific instrument used to separate and measure spectral components of a physical phenomenon. Spectrometer is a broad term often used to describe instruments that measure a continuous variable of a phenomenon where the ...

Spectrometer
or
monochromator A monochromator is an optical device that transmits a mechanically selectable narrow band of wavelength In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' ...

monochromator
for generating or measuring a portion of the optical spectrum, for the purpose of chemical or material analysis * Autocollimator which is used to measure angular deflections *
Vertometer Image:Lensmeter-2.png, 300px, A simple lensmeter cross sectional view. 1 – Adjustable eyepiece 2 – Reticle 3 – Objective lens 4 – Keplerian telescope 5 – Lens holder 6 – Unknown lens 7 – Standard lens 8 – Illuminated target 9 ...
which is used to determine refractive power of lenses such as glasses, contact lenses and magnifier lens
DNA sequencer A DNA sequencer is a scientific instrument used to automate the DNA sequencing DNA sequencing is the process of determining the nucleic acid sequence – the order of nucleotides in DNA. It includes any method or technology that is used to de ...
s can be considered optical instruments as they analyse the ''color'' and intensity of the light emitted by a fluorochrome attached to a specific nucleotide of a DNA strand.
Surface plasmon resonance Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is the resonant oscillation of conduction electrons at the interface between negative and positive permittivity material stimulated by incident light. SPR is the basis of many standard tools for measuring adsorption ...
-based instruments use refractometry to measure and analyze biomolecular interactions.


Other types

* Polarization controller *
Magic lantern The magic lantern, also known by its Latin name ''laterna magica'', is an early type of image projector that used pictures—paintings, prints, or photographs—on transparent plates (usually made of glass), one or more lens (optics), lenses, ...


See also

*
Scientific instruments A scientific instrument is a device or tool used for scientific purposes, including the study of both natural phenomena and theoretical research. History Historically, the definition of a scientific instrument has varied, based on usage, laws, and ...


References


External links

* * {{Authority control
Instruments Instrument may refer to: Science and technology * Flight instruments, the devices used to measure the speed, altitude, and pertinent flight angles of various kinds of aircraft * Laboratory equipment, the measuring tools used in a scientific labo ...