Virtual Optical Table
Welcome to Virtual Optical Table!
If you have a Java enabled browser, then on your screen a window
should be appearing labeled "Optical Table." This is your experimental
table, equipped with lasers, mirrors, lenses, diffraction gratings,
prisms, and beamsplitters. Feel free to experiment - you won't break
The first thing to do is to put a light source, a laser, on the table.
To do this, go to the "Optics" menu and pull down the "New laser" item.
It will put a laser on the table.
To select an optic, click along the axis of the optic. A rectangle
will surround the optic to let you know that you've selected it.
To place new lenses, mirrors, or any other optic, go to the "Optics"
menu and choose the item you wish to place. The item will be
placed on the optical table on the left side.
To move an optic, click the "Move" button, and then click along the
axis of the optic you wish to move to select it. Then click on the new location to
move the optic.
To rotate an optic, click the "Rotate" button, click along the axis
of the optic you wish to rotate to select the optic, and then click on an empty location on
the table that is along the direction you wish the optic to point.
To remove an optic from the table, go to the "Edit" menu, and select
"Delete Optic". The currently selected optic will be removed from the table.
Remember, if there are no laser sources on the table, you will not have any beams to use!
Finally, if you wish to change the focal length or size of a mirror or
lens, select the optic by clicking on its axis. Then, click "Edit." In the
upper hand corner of the screen, a window will appear with the focal length
and length of the optic in the window. Enter the new values in the blanks,
and press ENTER. The optic's attributes will be changed immediately.
The Virtual Optical Table was written by Daniel Marks
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