Ray Optics Simulation of Sagnac Interferometers and Ring Laser Gyros

Christopher Boucher April 20, 2018

Attitude detection, the measurement of an object’s orientation and rotation in three-dimensional space, is a crucial element in aircraft and spacecraft navigation. Recently, ring laser gyroscopes and fiber ring gyroscopes have proven to be viable alternatives to traditional mechanical gyros for accurately measuring rotations. The fundamental operating principle of such devices is an optical phenomenon called the Sagnac effect. In this blog post, we’ll employ ray optics simulation to observe this effect in a basic Sagnac interferometer.

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Brianne Costa April 19, 2018

When it comes to advancements in healthcare, we have a lot to be thankful for. Because of anesthesia, patients no longer need to “bite the bullet” during surgery. Thanks to antibiotics, doctors don’t use bloodletting to cure an infection. Moving into more modern times, radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems offer a wide variety of innovative healthcare applications. However, like any new medical technology, biomedical RFID devices must be rigorously evaluated for performance and compatibility with other medical systems.

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Ravi Ranjan April 18, 2018

When working with multibody systems, you may need to model a mechanism that transfers motion from one component to another. The mechanism used to implement this behavior, known as a cam-follower mechanism, plays an important role in many applications, including internal combustion engines, printing control mechanisms, textile weaving machines, and valves. You can easily model this type of mechanism with the Cam-Follower feature in the COMSOL® software. Let’s take a look at this feature in detail.

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Walter Frei April 17, 2018

In applications such as power transfer and consumer electronics, it may be critical to model electromagnetic heating of materials that are nonlinear in temperature; that is, the material’s electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity vary with temperature. When modeling these nonlinearities, even an experienced analyst can sometimes get quite unexpected results due to the combination of the nonlinear material properties, boundary conditions, and geometry. Let’s find out why this is in terms of a very simple example.

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Caty Fairclough April 16, 2018

Ejectors have many applications, such as removing debris in outer space and providing refrigeration at your local supermarket. To improve ejectors for these and other uses, engineers aim to find optimal designs and operating conditions as well as accurately describe the flow within these devices. Simulation can help achieve these goals.

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Thomas Forrister April 15, 2018

Prolific and profound, Leonhard Euler is considered one of the greatest mathematical scientists of all time. He made formative contributions to whole branches of mathematics, among them infinitesimal calculus, graph theory, and topology. Best known for his eponymous formula and identity equation, part of his genius was the ability to apply equations to the world around him and explain scientific concepts in terms that a layperson could understand.

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Henrik Sönnerlind April 13, 2018

When a tuning fork is struck, and held against a tabletop, the peak frequency of the emitted sound doubles — a mysterious behavior that has left many people baffled. In this blog post, we explain the tuning fork mystery using simulation and provide some fun facts about tuning forks along the way.

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Kiran Deshpande April 11, 2018

Stress corrosion is a type of degradation of a metal surface that is exposed to a corrosive environment and is subjected to mechanical stress, either residual or applied. This phenomenon can be difficult to predict and detect in underground pipelines, which could result in costly leaks and damage to the surrounding area. When modeling stress corrosion, a major challenge is coupling the mechanical and electrochemical interactions. Here, we look at how to overcome this challenge in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough April 10, 2018

Since their development in the 1960s, subminiature version A (SMA) connectors have become a staple in the RF and microwave industries. The use of these connectors is so widespread, they might even be the most popular RF and microwave connector systems on Earth. To evaluate the performance of an SMA connector, engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus April 9, 2018

Acyclic generator, unipolar generator, disc dynamo, Faraday wheel — No matter what you call it, the homopolar generator is an interesting device. Unlike most generators, homopolar generators produce high current with low voltage and can store and release large amounts of electricity. Due to these abilities, scientists have worked to improve this device since its invention. To continue this work, you can evaluate the performance of homopolar generator designs using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Uttam Pal April 6, 2018

In 1875, John Kerr placed current-carrying coils in holes on either side of a glass slab, which created an electric field. After a polarized beam of light passed through the slab, he noticed that the polarization was different. This difference is related to the change in the glass’ refractive index, which is proportional to the square of the electric field — a phenomenon called the Kerr effect. See how to model this effect and other linear and nonlinear phenomena.

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