Introduction to Optical Circuits

Circuits with light

Jairam R Prabhu
IETE SF MEC

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We are all familiar with electronic circuits, but let us get informed about a new concept in circuits, ie Optical circuits. As the name suggests, optical circuits involve the use of light or precisely photons instead of electrons. Compared to electronic circuits, we can see the photons as light, but it is impossible for us to see electricity.

What is light? What is optics? What is photonics?

Light is a common form of energy and is found naturally as well as it can be produced artificially. Science has a better definition of light ie. an Electromagnetic (EM) wave which is visible to Human eye or falls in the Visible Spectrum. Light falls in the 400nm to 700nm wavelength range in the EM spectrum. From Maxwell’s four equations on properties of light to Quantum Mechanics to Photoelectric Effect, Light has always given surprises to mankind.

The study of visible light and its characteristics in various mediums is called optics. There are two divisions of optics- Ray Optics and Wave Optics. Ray optics deal with light as a particle while Wave optics deal with light as a wave nature. Both have unique and distinguished learning paths.

Photonics is a modern branch and is entirely a new branch of physics which cannot be included in optics. The term “Photonics” was…

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Jairam R Prabhu
IETE SF MEC

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