On the 20th of December 2013, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). The proclamation of an International Year focusing on the light science and applications recognizes the importance of light in the society, which plays a vital role in our daily lives, being visible in a widespread number of different areas, as for instance, in technology, education, energy, art, agriculture, health, among many others. In this work, the members of the Image Processing Laboratory from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), analyze the concept of readapting some experiments in optics -usually conducted in different courses at the UAB physics degree- into the artistic context of the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona). This project, called SummerLight, takes place within the framework of the IYL, as part of the activities devised to promote the visibility of light. The readapted experiments are expected to teach and improve the knowledge of high school students with respect to different important physical phenomena related to the wave nature of light as polarization, interferences and diffraction. This study analyzes the suitability of the proposed experiments in terms of student optical skills improvement. In addition, its contextualization into an artistic scenario is also discussed.
In this paper, the characterization and the optimization of a parallel aligned (PA) liquid crystal on silicon display (LCoS)
has been conducted with the aim to apply it to the generation of a microlenses array in a Shack-Hartmann (SH) sensor.
The entire sensor setup has been experimentally implemented from scratch. Results obtained for several aberrated
wavefront measurements show the suitability of these devices in this particular application. Due to the well-known
dynamic properties of LCoS, these devices allow for an easy choice of the parameters of the SH sensor, i.e. the selection
of the suitable focal length and aperture of the microlenses of the array, which will definitely determine the dynamic
range and the lateral resolution of the SH sensor.
It is well known that manufacturing of lens systems featuring concentric design is a difficult task mainly due to nontrivial
testing required for optical surfaces sharing their center of curvature. We propose an inexpensive imaging
method, which can be used to test the alignment, concentricity, the axial length of air gaps and figure errors of the optical
surfaces in concentric lens systems. Our setup consists of a laser, collimating lenses, a beam splitter, testing and imaging
arms. We demonstrate the functionality of this scheme by testing an artificial eye with concentric design. During the
experiment, the laser beam travels along the optical axis of the testing arm until it is focused onto the surfaces of the
artificial eye. The light is then reflected and directed into the imaging arm to the camera. We perform tests in two
positions: first, when the focused beam hits the vertex of the convex lens of the eye, and second, when the light comes
into the system perpendicular to the optical surfaces. By finding the distance between these two positions, we can obtain
the radius of curvature of the lens surfaces. In addition, the images formed on the camera give us accurate information
about the alignment and the quality of the optical system under the test. Our results also show that this method is a
powerful technique to determine the position of air gaps in compound optical systems.