• Optical filter

Tag: Optical filter

Optical filters are devices that selectively transmit light of different wavelengths, usually implemented as plane glass or plastic devices in the optical path which are either dyed in the bulk or have interference coatings. Optical filters are completely described by their frequency response, which specifies how the magnitude and phase of each frequency component of an incoming signal is modified by the filter.Metal mesh filters

Filters for sub-millimeter and near infrared wavelengths in astronomy are metal mesh grids that are stacked together to form LP, BP, and SP filters for these wavelengths.


Another kind of optical filter is a polarizer or polarization filter, which blocks or transmits light according to its polarization. They are often made of materials such as Polaroid and are used for sunglasses and photography. Reflections, especially from water and wet road surfaces, are partially polarized, and polarized sunglasses will block some of this reflected light, allowing an angler to better view below the surface of the water and better vision for a driver. Light from a clear blue sky is also polarized, and adjustable filters are used in colour photography to darken the appearance of the sky without introducing colours to other objects, and in both colour and black-and-white photography to control specular reflections from objects and water. Much older than g.m.r.f (just above) these first (and some still) use fine mesh integrated in the lens.

Polarized filters are also used to view certain types of stereograms, so that each eye will see a distinct image from a single source.

Arc welding

An arc source puts out visible light that may be harmful to human eyes. Therefore, optical filters on welding helmets must meet ANSI Z87:1 (a safety glasses specification) in order to protect human vision.

Some examples of filters that would provide this kind of filtering would be earth elements embedded or coated on glass, but practically speaking it is not possible to do perfect filtering. A perfect filter would remove particular waves and leave plenty of light so a worker can see what he/she is working on.

See also

  • Filter (photography)
  • Filter (signal processing)
  • Filter fluorometer
  • Lyot filter
  • Dichroic filter
  • Dichroic prism
  • Atomic line filter
  • Warm filter
  • Metal mesh optical filters

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