Optical Physics Facts | Materials Science | Corning

Optical Physics Facts

  • The energy of light is measured in waves on the electromagnetic spectrum. Invisible lights like ultraviolet and X-rays have shorter wavelengths than visible light.
  • A refractive index indicates how much light will slow down traveling through a medium like glass or water. Ordinary glass has a refractive index of 1.5, meaning that light will travel through glass at around 124,000 miles per second (as opposed to about 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum).
  • Hyperspectral imaging is a growing field in which invisible light is used in highly sophisticated detection programs. Law enforcement and security teams are turning to hyperspectral imaging for covert fingerprint analysis and detection of explosive materials. There are also growing applications in monitoring food and drug safety. And the medical field is finding growing success with diagnosing some early-stage illnesses through hyperspectral imaging.
  • Corning’s leadership in optical physics earned prestigious recognition in 2000 when three Corning scientists were awarded the National Medical of Technology for their invention of low-loss optical fiber. Dr. Don Keck, Dr. Robert Maurer and Dr. Peter Schultz developed the monumental technical breakthrough that paved the way for the commercialization of optical fiber and the everyday use of the Internet.