A very inexpensive, simple-to-use and versatile optical kit has been developed which enables basic Fourier optics and optical information processing to be introduced in a practical, hands-on and economic way at intermediate or even at college level.

The kit consists of a triple plastic rail using reflex optics to give a maximum path length of nearly 4m, together with simple but effective adjustable lens, mirror, slide carrier and other component holders.

Using a HeNe laser source, basic diffraction, optical transforms, spatial filtering, convolution, correlation and several kinds of optical image processing, including image multiplexing, can be readily demonstrated and investigated. Some aspects of white light processing can also be shown

The system proves as effective and as easily operated as regular optical bench assemblies for these demonstrations.

An additional, simple add-on ‘holocamera’ enables holography to be carried out.

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