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Ray Optics Blog Posts

Ray Tracing in Monochromators and Spectrometers

December 25, 2014

Optical devices such as monochromators and spectrometers can be used to separate polychromatic, or multicolored, light into separate colors. These devices have many applications in diverse areas that range from chemistry to astronomy. Using built-in tools in the Ray Optics Module, it is possible to model the separation of electromagnetic rays at different frequencies with a monochromator or spectrometer as well as analyze the resolution of such devices.

An Analysis of Caustic Surface Generation at the Vdara® Hotel

December 12, 2014

Among its neighboring buildings on the Las Vegas strip, the Vdara® hotel can be identified by its unique crescent-shaped design. While visually appealing, this architectural element became an area of concern as it contributed to the development of a caustic surface on the hotel’s pool deck. As a result, guests at particular locations experienced severe sunburns at certain days and times of the year. Here, we model the generation of a caustic surface in the case of the Vdara® hotel.

Modeling Ray Propagation in a Newtonian Telescope System

December 5, 2014

When the Newtonian telescope was first developed in 1668, it was recognized as the earliest operating reflecting telescope. With its low cost and simplistic design, this optical system became a favorable alternative to refracting telescopes, and the technology continues to be widely used today. Using the Ray Optics Module, we can analyze ray propagation within this type of telescope system.

New Accumulators Boost Particle and Ray Tracing Functionality

November 26, 2014

With the release of COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.0, the Particle Tracing Module now includes a series of features called Accumulators, which can be used to couple the results of a particle tracing simulation to other physics interfaces. The accumulated variables may represent any physical quantity and can be defined either within domains or on boundaries, making them extremely flexible. Here, I will explain the different types of accumulators and their applications in particle tracing and ray optics models.

Modeling Thermally Induced Focal Shift in High-Powered Laser Systems

November 18, 2014

Almost all media absorb electromagnetic radiation to some extent. In high-powered laser focusing systems, a medium such as a glass lens may absorb enough energy from the laser to heat up significantly, resulting in thermal deformation and changing the material’s refractive index. These perturbations, in turn, can change the way the laser propagates. With the Ray Optics Module, it is possible to create a fully self-consistent model of laser propagation that includes thermal and structural effects.

Introducing the Ray Optics Module

November 14, 2014

The release of COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.0 includes a new add-on module for electromagnetics modeling: the Ray Optics Module. This optional add-on module includes the Geometrical Optics interface, which can be used to model the propagation of electromagnetic waves when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the model. The Geometrical Optics interface includes a wide variety of features and optional settings and it is fully multiphysics capable.


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