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Was curious. Is there any software out there for purchase that takes light and portrays images through algorithms. Was also wondering is there any mechanisms out there like spectographs you can purchase for a Mac or PC that is USB based for this type of work the bigger the better?

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All USB webcams technically do what you want.

https://www.edmundoptics.com/knowledge-center/application-notes/imaging/understanding-camera-sensors-for-machine-vision-applications/

There's a few ways to manipulate image data to get information. like...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlieren_photography

You can chop apart cheap USB cameras and make whatever aperture device you want with a bit of elbow grease:

https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/index-of-refraction

https://www.unawe.org/activity/eu-unawe1314/


Depending on if you're interested in holography, you might want to look into...

https://dcc.ligo.org/public/0117/T1400762/001/interferometer_2014.pdf

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