An optical device is a device that uses light to convert light into energy, or in other words, to make light particles move. There are many different optical devices available for many different purposes. For instance, a camera can be designed to focus light onto a particular area by means of its optical lens. This article discusses the common types of optical devices, their uses, and how they are used in current scientific and medical applications.
An optical device that changes light into energy can be viewed at various distances over time, such as with a microscope or a periscope. These optical lenses have been used throughout history to provide clearer and higher-resolution images. Peripheral lenses have also been used in optical microscopy to allow the magnification of small objects. A popular optical device used today is called an optical fiber cable. Such cables are made from an optical fiber reinforced with Kevlar to prevent abrasion and to transmit light with high bandwidth.
One optical device used in optical microscopy is the optical beam splitter. Typically used to split a beam of light into two, such as to examine single crystals, this optical device works by splitting the beam into multiple pieces, which are then sent through an optical fiber optics system. In doing so, the light rays can then be seen clearly as two distinct beams. This type of splitter is commonly used in research and industrial optical experiments.
A secondary optical device used is called an optical lens system. Such systems combine the features of both a scanner and a microscope. A scanner can be used to obtain high-resolution digital images while at the same time allowing the viewing of small objects via an eyepiece. On the other hand, an optical lens system (usually attached to a computer) allows the viewing of greater amounts of detail via a smaller eyepiece. These systems have revolutionized how microscopy is done at museums and other educational institutions.
Optical devices are essential in any laboratory where one desires to study living or non-living matter at various distances. These devices prevent disturbances to the subject such as sound, vibration, or movement from affecting the science experiments that require such stimuli. For example, magnetic filters are often placed over a magnetic field that is measuring the passage of electromagnetic radiation. If these filters allow only a certain type of electromagnetic radiation to pass through, scientists can then study the effects of this radiation on various types of living matter.
The principle behind most optical devices used today is based on the principle of coherent illumination. This principle is quite simple: a device allows only certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation to pass through its optical lens. For instance, an optical device used for studying living cells permits only certain colors of light to pass through while preventing other wavelengths such as ultraviolet and gamma rays from reaching the cell. Understanding how such a device function is critical to the study of living organisms, especially when one hopes to discover how they function.