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Concept: Diffuse reflection


Specular reflection appears as a bright spot or highlight on any smooth glossy convex surface and is caused by a near mirror-like reflectance off the surface. Convex shapes always provide the ideal geometry for highlights, areas of very strong reflectance, regardless of the orientation of the surface or position of the receiver. Despite highlights and glossy appearance being common in chemically defended insects, their potential signalling function is unknown. We tested the role of highlights in warning colouration of a chemically defended, alpine leaf beetle, Oreina cacaliae. We reduced the beetles' glossiness, hence their highlights, by applying a clear matt finish varnish on their elytra. We used blue tits as predators to examine whether the manipulation affected their initial latency to attack, avoidance learning and generalization of warning colouration. The birds learned to avoid both dull and glossy beetles but they initially avoided glossy prey more than dull prey. Interestingly, avoidance learning was generalized asymmetrically: birds that initially learned to avoid dull beetles avoided glossy beetles equally strongly, but not vice versa. We conclude that specular reflectance and glossiness can amplify the warning signal of O. cacaliae, augmenting avoidance learning, even if it is not critical for it.

Concepts: Insect, Predation, Signal, Beetle, Reflection, Aposematism, Glossmeter, Diffuse reflection


A galvanic-displacement-reaction-based, room-temperature “dip-and-dry” technique is demonstrated for fabricating selectively solar-absorbing plasmonic-nanoparticle-coated foils (PNFs). The technique, which allows for facile tuning of the PNFs' spectral reflectance to suit different radiative and thermal environments, yields PNFs which exhibit excellent, wide-angle solar absorptance (0.96 at 15°, to 0.97 at 35°, to 0.79 at 80°), and low hemispherical thermal emittance (0.10) without the aid of antireflection coatings. The thermal emittance is on par with those of notable selective solar absorbers (SSAs) in the literature, while the wide-angle solar absorptance surpasses those of previously reported SSAs with comparable optical selectivities. In addition, the PNFs show promising mechanical and thermal stabilities at temperatures of up to 200 °C. Along with the performance of the PNFs, the simplicity, inexpensiveness, and environmental friendliness of the “dip-and-dry” technique makes it an appealing alternative to current methods for fabricating selective solar absorbers.

Concepts: Energy, Temperature, Thermodynamics, Diffuse reflection, Emissivity, Solar thermal collector


There are neurons localized in the lower bank of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex of the monkey that selectively respond to specific ranges of gloss characterized by combinations of three physical reflectance parameters: specular reflectance (ρs), diffuse reflectance (ρd), and spread of specular reflection (α; Nishio et al., 2012). In the present study, we examined how the activities of these gloss-selective IT neurons are related to perceived gloss. In an earlier psychophysical study, Ferwerda et al. (2001) identified a perceptually uniform gloss space defined by two axes where the c-axis corresponds to a nonlinear combination of ρs and ρd and the d-axis corresponds to 1 - α. In the present study, we tested the responses of gloss-selective neurons to stimuli in the perceptual gloss space defined by the c- and d-axes. We found that gloss-selective neurons systematically changed their responses in the perceptual gloss space, and the distribution of the tuning directions of the population of gloss-selective neurons is biased toward directions in which perceived gloss increases. We also found that a set of perceptual gloss parameters as well as surface albedo can be well explained by the population activities of gloss-selective neurons, and that these parameters are likely encoded by the gloss-selective neurons in this area of the STS to represent various glosses. These results thus provide evidence that the IT cortex represents perceptual gloss space.

Concepts: Time, Cerebral cortex, Temporal lobe, Hippocampus, Reflection, Albedo, Glossmeter, Diffuse reflection


Hierarchical micro- and nano-structured surfaces have previously been made using a variety of materials and methods, including particle deposition, polymer molding, and the like. These surfaces have attracted a wide variety of interest for applications including reduced specular reflection and super-hydrophobic surfaces. In this paper we report the first monolithic, hierarchically structured glass surface that combines micron-scale and nano-scale surface features to simultaneously generate antiglare (AG), antireflection (AR), and superhydrophobic properties. The AG microstructure mechanically protects the AR nanostructure during wiping and smudging while the uniform composition of the substrate and the micro-nano-structured surface enables ion exchange through the surface, so that both the substrate and the structured surface can be simultaneously chemically strengthened.

Concepts: Structure, Atom, Materials science, Reflection, Fresnel equations, Specular reflection, Diffuse reflection, Anti-reflective coating


We demonstrate wide-angle, broadband and efficient reflection holography by utilizing coupled dipole-patch nano-antenna cells to impose an arbitrary phase profile on of the reflected light. High fidelity images were projected at angles of 450 and 200 with respect to the impinging light with efficiencies ranging between 40%-50% over an optical bandwidth exceeding 180nm. Excellent agreement with the theoretical predictions was found at a wide spectral range. The demonstration of such reflectarrays opens new avenues towards expanding the limits of large angle holography.

Concepts: Light, Snell's law, Refraction, Sound, Reflection, Total internal reflection, Diffuse reflection, Ripple tank


Spatial augmented reality (SAR) pursues realism in rendering materials and objects. To advance this goal, we propose a hybrid SAR (HySAR) that combines a projector with optical see-through head-mounted displays (OST-HMD). In an ordinary SAR scenario with co-located viewers, the viewers perceive the same virtual material on physical surfaces. In general, the material consists of two components: a view-independent (VI) component such as diffuse reflection, and a view-dependent (VD) component such as specular reflection. The VI component is static over viewpoints, whereas the VD should change for each viewpoint even if a projector can simulate only one viewpoint at one time. In HySAR, a projector only renders the static VI components. In addition, the OST-HMD renders the dynamic VD components according to the viewer’s current viewpoint. Unlike conventional SAR, the HySAR concept theoretically allows an unlimited number of co-located viewers to see the correct material over different viewpoints. Furthermore, the combination enhances the total dynamic range, the maximum intensity, and the resolution of perceived materials. With proof-of-concept systems, we demonstrate HySAR both qualitatively and quantitatively with real objects. First, we demonstrate HySAR by rendering synthetic material properties on a real object from different viewpoints. Our quantitative evaluation shows that our system increases the dynamic range by 2.24 times and the maximum intensity by 2.12 times compared to an ordinary SAR system. Second, we replicate the material properties of a real object by SAR and HySAR, and show that HySAR outperforms SAR in rendering VD specular components.

Concepts: Optics, Reflection, Virtual reality, Specular reflection, Diffuse reflection, Augmented reality, Mixed reality, Head-mounted display


Reflected light escape and mesoscopic penetration are two serious problems for optical characterization using microscopes. For specular samples with steep slopes, the detector does not receive enough light and the detection algorithm is not be able to detect the peak position, and would generate non-measured points. Moreover, the mesoscopic penetration phenomenon has been ignored when measuring and observing the shapes of samples with multi-layer structures. But this phenomenon, due to the transparency of materials to certain wavelengths of light, may result in serious errors in the measurements of the heights of samples, as well as errors in the descriptions of their shapes. Here we describe the use of fluorophore-aided scattering microscopy to significantly extend the magnitudes of slopes that can be detected, and to essentially eliminate errors in measurements of height caused by mesoscopic penetration.

Concepts: Optics, Light, Refraction, Electromagnetic radiation, Reflection, Fresnel equations, Specular reflection, Diffuse reflection


Optical techniques such as fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy are proven to have the potential to provide tissue discrimination during the development of malignancies and hence treated as potential tools for noninvasive optical biopsy in clinical diagnostics. Quantitative optical biopsy is challenging and hence the majority of the existing strategies are based on a qualitative assessment of the concerned tissue. Light-tissue interaction models as well as precise optical phantoms can greatly help in the former and here we present a pilot study to assess the optical properties of a multilayer tissue-specific optical phantom with the help of a database generated using multilayer-Monte Carlo (MCML) models. A set of optical models mimicking the properties of actual and diseased conditions of tissues associated with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) were devised and MCML simulations of fluorescence and diffuse reflectance were performed on these models to generate the spectral signature of identified biomarkers of NMSC such as hemoglobin, flavin adenine dinucleotide, and collagen. A model library was generated and with the extracted features from modeled spectra, classification of normal and NMSC conditions were tested using the [Formula: see text]-nearest neighbor (KNN) classifier. Using an in-house assembled scan-based automated bimodal spectral imaging system with reflectance and fluorescence modalities of operation, a layered, thin, tissue equivalent phantom, fabricated with controlled optical properties mimicking normal and NMSC conditions were tested. The spectral signatures corresponding to the NMSC biomarkers were acquired from this phantom and extracted features from the spectra were tested using the KNN classifier and classification accuracy of 100% was achieved. For further quantitative analysis, the experimental and simulated spectra were compared with respect to the light intensity at the emission peak or absorption dips, spectral line width, and average intensity over a range of wavelength of interest and observed to be analogous within specified and systematic error limits. This methodology is expected to give a better quantitative approach for estimation of tissue properties by correlating the experimental and simulated data.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Cancer, Optics, Light, FAD, Diffuse reflection, Spectral line, Spectral linewidth


A common location for cracks to appear is at the surface of a component; at the near surface, many nondestructive evaluation techniques are available to inspect for these, but at the far surface this is much more challenging. Ultrasonic imaging is proposed to enable far surface defect detection, location, and characterization. One specific challenge here is the presence of a strong reflection from the backwall, which can often mask the relatively small response from a defect. In this paper, the factorization method (FM) is explored for the application of subsurface imaging of the surface-breaking cracks. In this application, the component has two parallel surfaces, the crack is initiated from the far side and the phased array is attached on the near side. Ideally, the pure scattered field from a defect is needed for the correct estimation of the scatterer through the FM algorithm. However, the presence of the backwall will introduce a strong specular reflection into the measured data which should be removed before applying the FM algorithm. A novel subtraction method was developed to remove the backwall reflection. The performance of the FM algorithm and this subtraction method were tested with the simulated and experimental data. The experimental results showed a good consistency with the simulated results. It is shown that the FM algorithm can generate high-quality images to provide a good detection of the crack and an accurate sizing of the crack length. The subtraction method was able to provide a good backwall reflection removal in the case of small cracks (1-3 wavelengths).

Concepts: Evaluation, Reflection, Fresnel equations, Specular reflection, Diffuse reflection, The Crack, Nondestructive testing, Far side of the Moon


We present a sequential fitting-and-separating algorithm for surface reflectance components that separates individual dominant reflectance components and simultaneously estimates the corresponding bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) parameters from the separated reflectance values. We tackle the estimation of a Lafortune BRDF model, which combines a nonLambertian diffuse reflection and multiple specular reflectance components with a different specular lobe. Our proposed method infers the appropriate number of BRDF lobes and their parameters by separating and estimating each of the reflectance components using an interval analysis-based branch-and-bound method in conjunction with iterative K-ordered scale estimation. The focus of this paper is the estimation of the Lafortune BRDF model. Nevertheless, our proposed method can be applied to other analytical BRDF models such as the Cook-Torrance and Ward models. Experiments were carried out to validate the proposed method using isotropic materials from the Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MERL-MIT) BRDF database, and the results show that our method is superior to a conventional minimization algorithm.

Concepts: Mathematics, Estimation, Reflection, Object-oriented programming, Specular reflection, Diffuse reflection, Reflectivity, Bidirectional reflectance distribution function