The subfield of optics in which light propagation is approximated in terms of rays. It mainly includes reflection and refraction on surfaces.

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Difference between the increase in optical path due to refraction and that due to reflection

If we place two glass plates of refractive index n and each having thickness t,on the way of a light ray the increase in optical path becomes (S2P-S1P)=2(n-1)t due to refraction through them,and the ...
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49 views

Why do we need screen to see real images?

As we know that concave mirror forms a real image when object is placed beyond focal plane. This image can only be seen if a screen is kept at the point of intersection of rays(sharp image).If any ...
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51 views

Calculating the rainbow angle

I've read that the angle for viewing a Primary Rainbow is between 40-42 degrees. How would I go about showing this? How would I calculate that angle from scratch? I figured that Snell's Law and the ...
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Underwater photography and lens for camera housing [migrated]

Im thinking about building simple waterproof housing for camera. I don't expect high quality I want to record some videos good enough to identify fish species, nothing more for now. My housing will ...
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8 views

Is there a Zemax community on this forum? [migrated]

I am new to StackExchange and its constellation of sites. I was wondering if there is a Zemax (optical design software) user group here that I could interact with for all things Optical Design ...
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46 views

Numerical aperture of a lens

Using a laser setup, I was asked to determine the aperture of a given lens and then use some geometrical arguments and compare the theoretical value from the manufacturer and the experimental value. ...
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How does a microscopes optics expose defects in the users vision?

I've got cataracts in both eyes. My vision is correctable to 20/30, so the cataracts are essentially a non-issue in daily living. But when I use a microscope, which I do daily, (binocular, zoom ...
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27 views

Refraction problem - limiting radius of observation

I solved this problem but I don't know if the solution is correct. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. There are two mediums, 1 and 2, with absolute refraction indexes $n_1$ < $n_2$, and an observer ...
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54 views

Magnification in compound microscope

I was studying about compound microscope here I don't see why we multiply linear magnification of objective with angular magnification of eyepiece. Shouldn't it be both angular or both linear? Can ...
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176 views

Fermat's principle to prove the law of reflection

Fermat's principle tells that a light ray will follow a path from point $A$ to point $B$ so that the optical path length of this path is an extremum over neighboring paths. I wanted to use this ...
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How much can a thin layer of hi-speed material within a low-speed volume block a wave due to total internal reflection?

Consider a block of isotropic material with compression wave velocity associated with it, $v_1$. Consider a thin flat layer of high compression wave velocity $v_2, v_2>v_1$ that is buried within ...
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39 views

Help me understand virtual images versus real images [duplicate]

Simple question; Is a virtual image that is produced by a lens always - in front of or in back of the lens?
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1answer
59 views

Determining a person's sight from his speech [closed]

Suppose we meet a person wearing glasses.Can we determine whether the person is short-sighted or long-sighted? However,due to courtesy,we are not allowed to ask him to try the glasses and in general ...
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2answers
86 views

Basic geometric optics question - how come we don't have to have exact focus to capture objects clearly?

The top frame of the image below shows an image formed on the screen (at right) of an object (pencil on the left) located at some distance $D$ from the lens. The lens focuses all the light rays ...
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3answers
144 views

Why do the passing objects' shadows run in the direction of the moving train?

While travelling in the train on the sunset, I have noticed the strange phenomenon. The shadows of the lonely trees and lampposts, that stay along the railroad, are moving on the wall in the same ...
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14 views

Find the position of the final image [duplicate]

I was going through Geometrical Optics and came across the following question in my textbook: Q. An object is placed $21$ cm in front of a concave mirror of radius of curvature $20$ cm. A glass slab ...
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313 views

Plano convex lens with one silvered surface

For the derivation of the focal length of a planoconvex lens with one surface silvered, we consider the phenomenon taking place in three steps: Refraction through first surface Reflection ...
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92 views

Is there any optical component that uniformizes the incoming light?

Is there any optical component in existence that uniformizes randomly pointing rays?
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2answers
97 views

Is it possible to focus the sun in such way?

Imagine the sliding part of the mirror is controlled by computer and opens on intervals. Is it possible to increase the power of the beam by making it bounce between the mirrors thus going through ...
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2answers
87 views

Why would the reflection of a lamp by a bowl look like a heart?

I have this bowl roughly the shape of a circular truncated cone, and the lamp shines on the bowl at an angle. The reflected lamp light hit the bottom of the bowl and created a light ring that looks ...
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2answers
46 views

Determine whether the light will reach certain points or not [closed]

I've got an interesting question which goes like that: suppose we have a long cylindrical rod made of a transparent material (see illustration below). A point source $O$ which sits on rod's axis emits ...
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2answers
305 views

Fresnel distance and Geometrical limit

I read about the geometrical limit of wave theory. The source from where I read had a slightly different explanation to provide than here(The more rigorous answer is too complicated for me to ...
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2answers
74 views

Are images of three-dimensional objects also three-dimensional?

Suppose that I produce an image of a dog using a converging lens. I can draw ray diagrams for the nose of the dog as well as the back leg. These are definitely longitudinal points, not transverse. ...
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43 views

What's the local law of propagation of disturbances

In Vladimir I. Arnold's Lectures on Partial Differential Equations, Chapter 3 Huygens' Principle in the Theory of Wave Propagation, which is devoted to the proof of Huygens principle (original one by ...
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38 views

Is it possible to build an optical system that increases the perceived surface brightness?

So is it possbile to build a system from lenses and mirrors that can make faint gas nebulas brighter or can be used as nightvision? If you increase the size of the aperture of a telescope it will ...
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1answer
102 views

Image formed in a compound light microscope

I am trying to understand whether the image formed in a compound light microscope is at infinity or not. I get conflicting answers everywhere I look.
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284 views

Reflections in Rearview Mirror

Why is it that in the reflection in the rear view mirror of your vehicle in the car behind you The driver is on the drivers side and the passenger is on the passenger side and when they raise thier ...
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62 views

Why is there no dark band below a rainbow?

I've read articles about Descartes' theory of the rainbow and I can understand why there is a dark band of about 8 degrees (Alexander's band) between the primary and secondary bows: for all the water ...
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229 views

how does the mirror equation works and what lead to using of sign convention?

EVERYTHING HERE IS FOR CONCAVE MIRROR Everywhere I see the derivation of the mirror equation is given by placing an object before the focus and then proving similarity of the triangles to get to the ...
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2answers
145 views

How many mirrors placed perpendicular to each other shall make a light ray completely reverse its path?

The answer is 3. But according to me 2 shall also work in 2 Dimensions? Does anyone has a theoretical proof?
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2answers
134 views

How to determine if a optical system is afocal?

I have to come up with a method to measure the focal length of a concave lens that's not in my lab guidebook. So I decide that I will build an afocal system with a convex lens and a concave lens and ...
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121 views

Infinite Mirror Face to Face With Infinite Two Way Mirror

If you are in deep space, and there is an infinite plane mirror, and in front of it there is another infinite mirror that is two way, with the see through side towards you, what do you see? Is it the ...
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148 views

Refraction of light in medium

Given that the plane $y=0$ separates the vacuum ($y>0$) from the optical medium ($y<0$), I would like to calculate the trajectory of a light ray starting at the point $(x_1,y_1)$ and ending in ...
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644 views

Why Does Passing Light Through a Slit Make it Coherent?

Related: Why incoherent source of waves have to be passed though a single slit for double slit interference pattern to occur? If you have a an incoherent light source, why does passing it through a ...
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1answer
166 views

Optical Waveguide's “Base Bandwidth”

Consider a dielectric slab waveguide (lossless, isotropic) illuminated transversally from the vacuum (with coherent, monochromatic light). We define the base bandwidth of a waveguide (or optical ...
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96 views

How is Fermat's least time principle proven?

How is Fermat's least time principle proven? Or it is what usually is observed and is basis for the theories?
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1answer
769 views

Analytic solution for angle of minimum deviation?

Consider a simple prism with a prism angle $A$, angle of incidence $\theta_1$, angle of emergence $\theta_4$ and the first and second angle of refraction as $\theta_2,\theta_3$. the refractive index ...
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130 views

Refraction Vector (Ray tracing)

I am doing ray tracing and I do the refraction of the ray using the following relation (I got it from PDF called "Reflections and Refractions in Ray Tracing"): But I have seen it in another PDF as ...
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84 views

Lenses and Magnification [closed]

A $2.05\text{ cm}$ tall object is placed $30.0 \text{ cm}$ to the left of a converging lens with a focal length $f_1 = 21.0\text{ cm}$ . A diverging lens, with a focal length $f_2 = -42.5\text{ cm}$ , ...
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2answers
110 views

Good explanation of a real image?

Okay well I've started to study phys chem in school recently and I honestly can't get my head around what a real image actually is I've asked my teacher to demonstrated it but she's quite lazy, and ...
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2answers
166 views

Calculate the polarization vector on reflection or refraction from a dielectric interface

I am interested in ray-tracing polarized photons. I have code that works very well for unpolarized light. When a ray hits a dielectric interface the photon is either reflected or refracted by ...
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122 views

Change of hue near shadows

My brother is an artist and he told me his paintings look more natural when he slightly change the hue (color) of the surface near the transition between shadow and light. Here's three examples: (1) ...
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2answers
449 views

Why do powers of lenses get added?

In our physics class, we were told that a power of a lens is defined as the reciprocal of its focal length. Also, the powers of multiple lenses get added up. But I didn't understand why this is. I ...
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1answer
146 views

How mirror equation can explain farsightedness correction?

I have a friend who has just show me his medical prescription for hyperopia (farsightedness) correction and he needs glasses with 4,25 diopters for that, which seemed to be weird for me because I had ...
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1answer
259 views

Wave theory limit of geometric optics? [duplicate]

Why is geometric optics the low wavelength limit of the wave theory of light? I can't seem to grasp why either a low or high wavelength limit would be necessary.
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1answer
155 views

Refraction of light in water

Here's a question in a paper based on refraction of light. I can't seem to solve it for some reason. A man looks down at a fish length of 20 cm. His eye is 2m above the surface of the water ...
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177 views

Converting indices of refraction

If I know that the index of refraction of a given substance is 1.4 for the average wavelength (say 550 nm), and I would like to know what is the index of refraction with a wavelength of 832 nm, how ...
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2answers
215 views

Finding the illuminance from a triangular light source

Since most light sources in games are point-like, it's pretty difficult to approximate area light sources with point sources. As triangles are a universal form to represent 3D models (thus area light ...
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What is the pattern in the defocused circular image if I watch a shiny object close to my eyes?

Let's assume I have a round shiny object (eg. a spoon or the glass of a light bulb), so the distant lamp's reflection is just a shiny point on it. Now if I put the object close to my eyes and look at ...
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Difference between real and virtual images [duplicate]

I've been very confused for a very long time on the matter. With real images the light actually converges, and with virtual images the light appears that it is coming from some place it isn't. But why ...