Publication Date

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy


Peter Beyersdorf


Demonstration Tool, Fourier Filtering, Laser, Optics, Spatial Filtering

Subject Areas

Physics; Optics


This thesis contains a discussion of the theoretical background for Fourier spatial filtering and a description of the design and construction of a portable in-class spatial filtering apparatus. A portable, in-class spatial filtering demonstration apparatus was designed and built. This apparatus uses liquid crystal display (LCD) panels from two projectors as the object and filter masks. The blue LCD panel from the first projector serves as the object mask, and the red panel from the second projector serves as the filter mask. The panels were extracted from their projectors and mounted onto aluminum blocks which are held in place by optical component mounts. Images are written to the LCD panels via custom open source software developed for this apparatus which writes independent monochromatic images to the video signal. The software has two monochromatic image windows, basic image manipulation tools, and two video feed input display windows. Two complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors are positioned to record the reconstructed image of the object mask and the diffraction pattern created by the object mask. The object and filter mask can be digitally changed and the effects on the filtered image and diffraction pattern can be observed in real-time. The entire apparatus is assembled onto a rolling cart which allows it to be easily taken into classrooms.