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Optical Components

Optical Components

Date posted: July 18, 2017 // Optical Components

Since the advent of the smartphone and its almost universal use as a handy means to capture photos and videos, there has been considerably less concern for the quality of lenses, and greater reliance upon digital electronics and software to provide the desired quality of resolution. There are, of course, still many professional photographers for whom only the finely engineered lenses of a high-end SLR are regarded as appropriate for their task.

The amateur astronomers and birdwatchers also tend to be particular about the precision-made mirrors and lenses that provide the magnification for their astronomical telescopes and field glasses, respectively. Beyond their knowledge of these relatively common devices, however, few people are familiar with the surprisingly wide range of additional applications for which high-precision optical components are absolutely essential.

In many cases, these applications are conducted in a laboratory. The science of spectroscopy, for instance, relies on instruments to determine the interaction of physical substances with various forms of radiation, using their absorptive or reflective properties to identify them. The allied science of spectrometry provides researchers with a means with which to measure the amount of radiation absorbed or reflected, and to use the results as the basis for calculating the concentration of specific compounds or elements present. In each case, the operation of the instrument is dependent upon quality lenses and other precision-made, glass parts, such as prisms, mirrors, filters and diffraction gratings.

When designing scientific instruments such as these, the quality of glass used is crucial. To construct the precision optical components requires the manufacturer to comply with the strictest specifications, and one of the most important requirements is a low-refractive index that, ideally, should be as close to that of the surrounding air as possible.

While the DVD has long superseded the 8mm movie, and even the more recent VHS tape, that projector you connect to the office laptop, in order to presents a slideshow to your prospective clients, also depends on high-quality lenses to magnify and clarify its digitised images. Similarly, without the aid of complex precision optics, we would be unable to experience the sight of the night sky as it was at the time of the pharaohs, through the incredible instrument know as a planetarium.

Closer to home, it might have escaped your notice that the humble car headlight has undergone a remarkable transformation. No longer a single or pair of incandescent globes, these invaluable devices now rely upon high-quality optics to provide the necessary spread and focus of light, and the means with which to dip their beams. LIT Africa is a supplier of world-class, precision optical components for many important applications.