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Old Jul 16th 2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Post Collimation Explained?

Can someone please explain collimation to me? I have read the Wikipedia page and other articles, so I understand the basic concept. However, is light either collimated or not collimated? Or is all light collimated to some identifiable/calculable degree? If there is a way to characterize this, I would really appreciate a reference or something similar.

Thank you in advance
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Old Jul 16th 2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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Collimation is getting the light rays to be parallel. A normal point light source will not give out collimated rays as it emits uniformly in all directions. Collimation is required in spectroscopy where it is achieved using a collimator which consists of a tube with an adjustable slit at one end and a convex lens at the other. The source e.g. a sodium lamp is kept at the focus of this lens. Thus the rays entering the tube are parallel and when they pass thru the slit, you get a thin line "emitting" parallel rays.
Laser light is collimated. Collimation is used to prevent or limit the spread of light.
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