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Article: Prism (optics)

Prism (optics)

Types of Prisms

  • Dispersive prisms break up light into its constituent spectral colors.
  • Reflective prisms are used to reflect, invert, rotate, or deviate light.
  • Depolarizer prisms can alter the polarization of light.
  • Other types of prisms can alter polarization, maintain optics, or convert between circular and linear polarization.
  • Prisms have various uses in optics, plasmonics, and microscopy.

Dispersive Prisms

  • Dispersive prisms refract light and separate it into different colors based on wavelength.
  • Triangular prism is a common type of dispersive prism.
  • Other types of compound prisms include Amici prism, Littrow prism, Pellin-Broca prism, and Abbe prism.
  • Grism is a dispersive prism with a diffraction grating on its surface.
  • Spectral dispersion is a well-known property of dispersive prisms.

Reflective Prisms

  • Reflective prisms are used to reflect light and maintain the orientation of the image.
  • Total internal reflection is used to achieve near-perfect reflection in reflective prisms.
  • Prisms made of optical glass with anti-reflective coating have lower light loss compared to metallic mirrors.
  • Thin-film optical layers can be deposited on prisms to create beam-splitter cubes.
  • Reflective prisms can eliminate etalon effects, back-side reflection, and slight beam deflection.

Depolarizer Prisms

  • Birefringent crystals can be assembled to create depolarization of light.
  • Cornu depolarizer and Lyot depolarizer are examples of depolarizer prisms.
  • Depolarization is observed when temporal or spatial coherence of the beam is reduced.
  • Depolarization is not observed for ideal monochromatic plane waves.
  • Depolarizer prisms convert coherence of polarization components into decoherence.

Other Uses of Prisms

  • Prisms made of isotropic materials like glass can alter polarization of light.
  • Total internal reflection in prisms has various applications in optics, plasmonics, and microscopy.
  • Wedge prisms are used to deflect a beam of monochromatic light by a fixed angle.
  • Anamorphic pair of prisms can change the profile of a beam.
  • Deck prisms were used on sailing ships to bring daylight below deck.

Prism (optics) Data Sources

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