Spatial light modulators (SLMs) are a versatile tool for teaching optics, but the cost associated with an SLM setup prevents its adoption in many undergraduate and graduate optics labs. We describe a simple method for creating a low-cost SLM by extracting components from a commercial LCD projector. We demonstrate the pedagogical applications of this SLM design by providing examples of its use in teaching diffraction and interference phenomena. We also discuss an SLM's potential as a research tool in graduate labs. In particular, we demonstrate its use in holography and in the generation of optical vortices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)