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Fused Silica vs Natural Z-Cut Quartz

Fused Silica vs Natural Z-Cut Quartz

Natural z-cut quartz and fused silica are optical materials that are colourless and transparent to visible light. Both are nominally chemically identical, both being silicon dioxde (SiO2), also known as silica. They are both reasonably tough materials and have good...
Finite element analysis (FEA)

Finite element analysis (FEA)

Here’s another fine mesh you’ve gotten me into! Finite element analysis (FEA) is a versatile technique that can be used to simulate many physical situations, but here at Torr we mainly use FEA to simulate structural and thermal issues. The name says it all: in FEA, we...
Brewster Window Theory

Brewster Window Theory

Get used to Brewster Polarized light, or more strictly plane-polarized light, has its electric field vibrating partially or totally in a particular direction. Non‑polarized light can be thought of as having an electric field that vibrates equally in all possible...
Artificial Snow

Artificial Snow

The iceman cometh As we approach Christmas, we’ll be taking a look at the world of artificial snow. You might be spraying a bit of white foam in your windows to fake the stuff, or you might be lucky enough to be off on a Christmas break at a winter resort to have a...
Introduction to AR Coatings

Introduction to AR Coatings

Torr Scientific can design and deposit AR (anti-reflective) coatings on their optical components, including viewports and glass vacuum cells. Uncoated glass reflects about 4% of incident visible light from each face, so losses from a typical window will be around 8%...
Arsenic on Strawberries

Arsenic on Strawberries

As the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament approaches, your thoughts may be turning to Pimms and strawberries. I don’t want to put you off, but the strawberry has for several years running been named and shamed as the most pesticide-ridden fruit available. It could be...
2022 is the UN International Year of Glass

2022 is the UN International Year of Glass

As Torr Scientific uses a wide range of ‘glassy’ materials in the construction of our products, we felt we should mention this event. The United Nations declared 2022 to be the International Year of Glass to celebrate the essential role glass has in...
Eggs

Eggs

Aside from the rather gruesome events described by the New Testament, Easter is more commonly associated with happy concepts: the approach of spring, fluffy bunnies, pancakes and, of course, Easter eggs. For this article, we’re going to stay well away from...
Witch’s Hat

Witch’s Hat

As part of TSL’s ongoing investigation into the relationship between surface flatness and transmitted wavefront error (TWE), we spotted the TWE dataset below whose anomalously high peak has a distinct touch of the Halloween about it. Comparison with maps of surface...
CERN Windows

CERN Windows

Torr were recently commissioned to produce some special windows for CERN.  The windows were welded into a pre-machined body and then subjected to a high-pressure test. The application for the windows is the Beam-Gas-Curtain instrument (wepb16.pdf (cern.ch)). The LHC...
Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT)

Laser Induced Damage Threshold (LIDT)

Work is ongoing at TSL to better understand and characterize the LIDT (laser-induced damage threshold) of our coated viewports and optics. We currently specify a CW (continuous wave) threshold of 500 W cm-2 at 530 nm. For each individual customer requirement, this...
Plasmaquest

Plasmaquest

Torr Scientific were recently very pleased to help out our friends in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences at University of Surrey with some coating metrology. As part of a research project supervised by Dr Mark Baker, Reader in Surface Science and...