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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Teaching optics with a spatial light modulator
Author(s): Manuel Perez Cagigal; Vidal F. Canales; Pedro J. Valle; Jose E. Oti; Daniel Munoz de Juana

Paper Abstract

The appearance of commercial spatial light modulators (SLM) opens new ways for teaching some optical phenomena. There are possible applications in a great variety of fields: interferometry, diffraction theory, simulation and compensation of random media, Fourier Optics, etc. In this paper, we propose the use of low cost liquid crystals displays (LCDs) as SLMs to perform some interesting optical experiments. The liquid crystal SLMs are extracted from a commercial video projector. This is one of the cheapest ways to obtain a SLM. For phase modulation, it requires the calibration of the system, because the manufacturers do not provide the physical specifications of the LCDs. This work is quite instructive since many different aspects are involved in the calibration process. Finally, we show an experiment using this setup, which demonstrates that the proposed SLM is an easy-to-use and flexible tool to show some well-known optical phenomena.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 2002
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4588, Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, (28 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.468709
Show Author Affiliations
Manuel Perez Cagigal, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)
Vidal F. Canales, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)
Pedro J. Valle, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)
Jose E. Oti, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)
Daniel Munoz de Juana, Univ. de Cantabria (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4588:
Seventh International Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Tuan-Kay Lim; Robert P. Breault; Arthur H. Guenther; Arthur H. Guenther, Editor(s)

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