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I need to learn basic optics for a high school academic competition. Does anyone know any good places, preferably free and online, to learn the basics of optics, like lenses, angles of incidence, etc.? I can't seem to find an MIT OpenCourseWare course addressing the issue.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

http://www.khanacademy.org/#physics

Scroll down till #145, that's where optics starts. If you want just lenses, start with the 'virtual image' one.

If not for your online-only request, I would have suggested Resnick-Halliday-Walker. IMHO, that's just about the best book for classical anything

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Well, it said "preferably" free and online, not "necessarily," so I think HRW is a fair answer to this question. –  David Z Feb 22 '12 at 3:50
    
@DavidZaslavsky Good point. –  Manishearth Feb 22 '12 at 3:52
    
Thanks for the link. I like Khan Academy's more wordy explanation - it let's me get an intuitive and quantitative understanding. Also, thanks for the book link although it's a bit out of my means. –  Eric Thoma Feb 23 '12 at 1:51
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Fundamentals of Optics- Jenkinson and White is a great book. Just google different aspects of optics. I recommend pounding in your head Snell's law and Index of refraction(putting Snell's law to work). Let me know if you have any questions (I'm majoring in optics) ddiponzio@gmail.com

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Thanks for the book link. I'll definitely let you know if I have any questions; I do find optics to be a more interesting area of physics, and I imagine it becomes even more so with lasers and spooky quantum effects. –  Eric Thoma Feb 23 '12 at 1:53
    
oh yes it does! I work at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Rochester NY. It's amazing to see what happens in the quantum level. Really strange stuff. –  ddip214 Feb 23 '12 at 5:07
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