optical instrument

An optical instrument either processes light waves to enhance an image for viewing, or analyzes light waves (or photons) to determine one of a number of characteristic properties.

Image enhancement

The first optical instruments were telescopes used for magnification of distant images, and microscopes used for magnifying very tiny images. Since the days of Galileo and Van Leeuwenhoek, these instruments have been greatly improved and extended into other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The binocular device is a generally compact instrument for both eyes designed for mobile use. A camera could be considered a type of optical instrument for storing an image.

Analysis

Another class of optical instrument is used to analyze the properties of light or optical materials. They include:
Light is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light). In a scientific context, the word "light" is sometimes used to refer to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
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Photon

Photons emitted in a coherent beam from a laser
Composition: Elementary particle
Family: Boson
Group: Gauge boson
Interaction: Electromagnetic
Theorized: Albert Einstein (1905–17)
Symbol: or
Mass: 0[1]
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A telescope is an instrument designed for the observation of remote objects and the collection of electromagnetic radiation. The earliest known telescopes are credited to three individuals, Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, spectacle-makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of
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Galileo Galilei

Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Giusto Sustermans
Born January 15 1564(1564--)[1]
Pisa, Tuscany - Italy
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Thonius Philips van Leeuwenhoek[1] (October 24, 1632 – August 30, 1723) was a Dutch tradesman and scientist from Delft, Netherlands. He is commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology".
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electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is the range of all possible electromagnetic radiation. The "electromagnetic spectrum" (usually just spectrum) of an object is the frequency range of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to fractions of
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Binocular telescopes, or binoculars, (also known as field glasses) are two identical or mirror-symmetrical telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point accurately in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes (binocular vision) when viewing distant
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camera is a device used to capture images, as still photographs or as sequences of moving images (movies or videos). The term as well as the modern-day camera evolved from the camera obscura
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Light is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light). In a scientific context, the word "light" is sometimes used to refer to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
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Please [improve the article] or discuss this issue on the talk page. This article has been tagged since December 2006.
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Interference is the addition (superposition) of two or more waves that results in a new wave pattern.

As most commonly used, the term interference usually refers to the interaction of waves which are correlated or coherent with each other, either because they
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In the broadest sense, a photometer is any instrument used to measure illuminance or irradiance. As applied in industrial photometry, a "photometer" is the general term covering instruments for detecting:
  • scattered light intensity
  • absorption
  • fluorescence

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Polarimetry is the measurement of the polarisation of light; a polarimeter is the scientific instrument used to make these measurements. Polarimetry of thin films and surfaces is commonly known as ellipsometry.
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Some scientific instruments commonly designated Reflectometer are:
  • Vector Network Analyser (VNA)
  • Reflectometer (optics): In optics, an instrument for measuring the reflectivity or reflectance of reflecting surfaces.

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In optics and heat transfer, reflectivity is the fraction of incident radiation reflected by a surface. In full generality it must be treated as a directional property that is a function of the reflected direction, the incident direction, and the incident wavelength.
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refractometer is an optical instrument that is used to determine the refractive index of a substance. This often refers to some physical property of a substance that is directly related to its refractive index.
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The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a medium is a measure for how much the speed of light (or other waves such as sound waves) is reduced inside the medium. For example, typical glass has a refractive index of 1.
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Ernst Abbe

Ernst Karl Abbe (1840-1905)
Born January 23 1840(1840--)
Eisenach, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
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spectrometer is an optical instrument used to measure properties of light over a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, typically used in spectroscopic analysis to identify materials.
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A monochromator is an optical device that transmits a mechanically selectable narrow band of wavelengths of light or other radiation chosen from a wider range of wavelengths available at the input.
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An autocollimator is an optical instrument for non-contact measurement of angles. They are typically used to align components and measure deflections in optical or mechanical systems.
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A vertometer is an ophthalmic bench instrument used to measure diopter power of a lens. It differs from a lensmeter or lensometer which is a general dispensary tool for opticians to verify spectacle prescriptions at the laboratory.
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