Here’s a fun problem I came across when trying to analyse some data, which I thought I’d write up to illustrate the kind of interesting puzzles I get paid to solve as a physicist. Perhaps have a go yourselves and let me know if there are more intuitive solutions.

# Optics

# TV Diffraction

When taking a picture of my new 55″ TV (humblebrag) I noticed a diffraction pattern of the reflection of the camera flash. Fortuitously, I had also recently bought a slightly too-powerful laser pointer from China which is the perfect tool to investigate such problems. Here’s a little write-up of my DIY measurements.

# Lens Lab Matlab App

Given a few of my previous posts it’s obvious that I’m a fan of the physics and mathematics that that comes along with the theory of classical optics. To make the number of lens-based posts a nice round three then, here’s a simple Matlab App I made over the last few days which lets you play with lenses interactively, hopefully giving a bit of useful insight into the underlying principles.

# Fourier Vases

In my last blog post I waded through a lot of maths with no pretty pictures to show for it. I’ll redress the balance here and make the pictures extra pretty. The post title alludes to a previous post, and is similar in that I’ll be using mathematics to form interesting 3D objects.

# How does a lens make an image?

I’ve talked before on this blog about the propagation of electromagnetic waves, and that’s not stopping any time soon. This time, I’d like to go through from first principles and demonstrate how a lens forms an image in all the gory details. Beware, there be maths ahead…