Precision Optics Hack Chat

Jeroen Vleggar from Huygens Optics

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 12:00 pm PST Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Jeroen Vleggaar will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at noon Pacific Time

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Join Hack ChatWe sometimes take for granted one of the foundational elements of our technological world: optics. There are high-quality lenses, mirrors, filters, and other precision optical components in just about everything these days, from the smartphones in our pockets to the cameras that loom over us from every streetlight and doorway. And even in those few devices that don't incorporate any optical components directly, you can bet that the ability to refract, reflect, collimate, or otherwise manipulate light was key to creating the electronics inside it.

The ability to control light with precision is by no means a new development in our technological history, though. People have been creating high-quality optics for centuries, and the methods used to make optics these days would look very familiar to them. Precision optical surfaces can be constructed by almost anyone with simple hand tools and a good amount of time and patience, and those components can then be used to construct instruments that can explore the universe wither on the micro or macro scale.

Jeroen Vleggaar, know better as Huygens Optics on YouTube, will drop by the Hack Chat to talk about the world of precision optics. When not conducting optical experiments such as variable surface mirrors and precision spirit levels, or explaining the Double Slit Experiment, Jeroen consults on optical processes and designs. In this Hack Chat, we'll talk about how precision optical surfaces are manufactured, what you can do to get started grinding your own lenses and mirrors, and learn a little about how these components are measured and used.

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Dan Maloney12/02/2020 at 21:06 0 comments

    11:58 AM
    OK, everyone, let's get started. I'm Dan, I'll be moderating today for our guest Jeroen Vleggaar. You might have seen him on his YouTube channel "Huygens Optics", and we're going to talk about Precision Optics today.

    Welcome, Jeroen! Can you start us off with a little about yourself?

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:00 PM
    Sure. Hi everyone. So I am Jeroen and I live in the Netherlands. As long as I can remember I have been interested in all kinds of technology. Dan made this chat about precision optics. But in fact, I do not have a formal education in optics. Almost everything I know about it is from making stuff myself, basically hands on.

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:01 PM
    My background is actually in chemistry. I did a a master in electrochemistry and a PhD on the photochemistry of photoresists. These are the materials used for IC manufacture. Photolithography has always remained a field of interest for me. My first real job started in 1994 at Philips electronics research, where I worked on the development of OLED and polymer-LED display technology.

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:01 PM
    From 2001 I have been self-employed, and I did various things involving music, software development, optics and mechanics. About a year ago, also started to make videos for Youtube in my spare time. Anyway, I hope I can answer any questions you might have for me.

    Dan Nelson joined the room.12:02 PM

    Did the interest in optics come from working with photoresists?

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:03 PM
    No I guess long before that. The PhD I did involved a lot of laser spectroscopy, which I also found fascinating.

    home12:03 PM
    Can you talk more about that?

    home12:04 PM
    Spectroscopy is fascinating, how did that work with lasers?

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:04 PM
    In general the properties of light are extremely interesting. @home so it involved looking at reactions with time resolved spectroscopy. Basically short laser pulses.

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:05 PM
    So you set a reaction in action with one pulse and study it with another one.

    home12:05 PM
    What frequency laser(s) did you use?

    anfractuosity12:05 PM
    is that similar to raman spectroscopy?

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:06 PM
    @home basically visible light so frequency doubled YAG and other wavelengths. Including light generated using stimulated Raman.

    flow12:07 PM
    Hi Jeroen, I have seen you videos and they are a great inspiration. I am trying to manifacture a triangle prism (one angle 90° the other two 45°) shaped optical compent but I have the problem that when I try to lap the short faces of that prism it always wants to converge towards a 60° degree prism.

    I think I have to fabricate come kind of holder or mount for that such that it keeps the angle do you have a hint on what best to use as a fixture?

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:07 PM
    Also I used the excimer lasers, which are also used in photolithography.

    andrewjeddeloh12:08 PM
    I've been wanting to make my own 4F correlator (or at least the first half to get the fourier plane). How important is it to have a high quality laser? Or will any old diode laser work? What properties of the laser are important?

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:08 PM
    @flow . Yes you always need to make special fixtures to do polishing. Basically always create a surface larger that your object to keep it flat and straight

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:10 PM
    @andrewjeddeloh. I think it is possible to use just diode lasers, although they come in many different qualities. I would avoid the cheam ebay ones.

    Nicolas Tremblay joined the room.12:10 PM

    andrewjeddeloh12:10 PM
    is poor beam divergence the main thing to avoid?

    Drew12:10 PM
    Jersey, I absolutely love your YouTube channel. I'm normally a machinist by day, but I'm also a toolmaking horologist privately.

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:10 PM
    But if you can buy one, a HeNe laser is prefered I guess....

    Jeroen Vleggaar12:11 PM
    @drew Thanks. I also do different things in the daytime than is shown in the videos ;-).

    Occamlab joined the room.12:11 PM

    flow12:12 PM
    Do you usually make these fixtures from...

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Jarrett wrote 12/02/2020 at 19:19 point

Where do you get your glass blanks?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jarrett wrote 12/02/2020 at 19:19 point

I'm assuming you grind all your optics out of glass. Have you experimented with resin casting lenses?

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