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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Perfectly focusing refractive surface

On reading Feynman's lecture on physics, in the geometrical optics section he said that a curve which focuses all the rays coming from a point to another fixed point beyond the refracting surface ...
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101 views

Is my textbook in error about this geometric optics relation?

Given a centered optical system (having an axis of rotational symmetry), let $H_1$ be the intersection of the optical axis and the "principal object plane" (I'm studying in French and have no idea how ...
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3answers
614 views

Light Ray Reflection from concave mirror

Suppose a ray of light hits a concave mirror and is parallel to the principal axis but far away from it such that it doesn't follow paraxial ray approximation. Will it pass through focus or between ...
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2answers
111 views

Is light red shifted in optical tweezers?

This is a question I put to my supervisor during my PhD many years ago, and never really got a satisfactory answer to. In an optical tweezers, assume that a beam of light is used to move a glass ...
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1answer
380 views

Why can't we see real images?

When light from an object passes through a convex lense, it gets reconverged at a single real image. From there, the light rays presumabely begin diverging again, exactly as if there was a ...
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2answers
3k views

Can virtual image be photographed

Is there any instrument that can photograph a virtal image? How would such a device work?
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596 views

How does the eye perceive a real image?

Okay, so I'm trying to grasp how the human eye will perceive the real image created for example by a convex lens. Take the upper image in this picture for example. If you were to place a screen at ...
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2answers
410 views

Why don't you see multiple images of an object?

Consider the ray model of light. Let's say an object such as a pencil is illuminated, and consider one point on that pencil. Since there could be many rays of light bouncing off the same point on the ...
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1answer
645 views

Sign convention of the lens formula and its application

Why is the sign convention used in the derivation of the lens formula and yet used again when it is applied in numerical problems? Won't the whole idea of sign convention be eliminated if it is used ...
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1answer
243 views

Which fraction of light is refracted from a source of light under a lake?

I was trying to solve this problem: "A punctiform source of light is standing inside a lake, at a height h of the surface. f is the fraction of the total of energy emitted that escapes directly from ...
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2answers
208 views

Proof that a spherical lens is stigmatic

In geometric optics, we generally allow that, for example in the case of a convex lens, rays coming from a particular point get refracted towards another particular point on the opposite side of the ...
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3answers
575 views

What does it mean that a wavevector is null?

I have derived geometric optics for gravitational waves and I am trying to interpret one of the results. I have \begin{equation} k_{\rho}k^{\rho}=0 \end{equation} for the wavevector. For the case ...
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4answers
386 views

What does the wave principle of light actually represent?

Light has a dual nature, one of photons and the other of waves. But energy doesn't really travel in waves. So what do the wave represent?
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14 views

Image formation [duplicate]

What is the real cause behind the formation of an image? It is explained as" when rays of light focus at a point image is formed." So here we have two events, one focusing of light and another ...
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2answers
881 views

All mirrors always shrink to 50% scale?

I have this geometric optics exercise here, in which a man is looking at himself in a mirror. Determine the minimum height at which the bottom of the mirror must be placed so the man can see his ...
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1answer
436 views

Eikonal approximation for wave optics. Why follow the unit vector parallel to the Pointing vector?

The description of the passage from wave optics to geometrical optics claims that light rays are the integral curves of a certain vector field (the Pointing vector direction, normalized to 1). Here ...
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2answers
761 views

Can't seem to reconcile geometric optics and wave optics

I was looking at a physics situation involving light, and I can make the correct derivation assuming light is a ray of a given intensity (geometric optics), energy conservation checks out, everything. ...
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2answers
2k views

Does light reflect if incident at exactly the critical angle?

A lot of textbooks and exam boards claim that light incident at exactly the critical angle is transmitted along the media boundary (i.e. at right-angles to the normal), but this seems to violate the ...
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1answer
201 views

On the optics of high-resolution surveillance drones

In this youtube video (which is an except from a documentation I believe) a DARPA development for a high-resolution surveillance camera is presented. This question is regarding the optics that are ...
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1answer
372 views

Thin lens formulae

Hi I have a question about applying the thin lens formula $$ \frac{n_1}{s_o} + \frac{n_2}{s_i} = \frac{n_2 - n_1}{R} \,\text{thin lens formula}$$ for a single lens emerged in medium $n_2$ in the ...
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2answers
643 views

Goldfish perspective

What does the world look like from the Goldfish point of view, from inside a spherical aquarium? If our eyes were inside, would we be able to see the straight lines, focus on different objects and ...
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1answer
405 views

Correcting for bad eyesight on display monitors [duplicate]

I think it would be neat if one could configure one's eyesight parameters (astigmatism and myopia in my case), viewing distance, and perhaps age into a special display driver, such that a computer ...
11
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2answers
300 views

Why does a blue sky at dusk appear nearly black through a telescope?

Earlier this evening I was looking at the Moon through my cheap toy telescope (x150 magnification) when I noticed a (rather mundane) optical effect I couldn't explain. The Sun had just dipped below ...
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1answer
1k views

Beam splitters- Direction of use

There are two cases I'm asking about. The square in the middle is a cube beam splitter in the same orientation for both cases. We are looking at the beam splitter from the top. In the first case, ...
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2answers
352 views

Redirecting light beams from beam splitters

I'm doing a project where I am taking a laser beam and sending it through a beam splitter. As I understand, approximately 50% of the light will go pass through and 50% will be reflected. So this means ...
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2answers
2k views

How to make the projected image smaller by adding one ore more lenses in front of the built in projector lense?

I have a projector that creates a large image, even if the distance to the screen is short. The device is very small, approximateley 10x10 cm if you look from above. The height is only 3 cm. I ...
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1answer
152 views

Why a star commonly exhibits 6 rays?

Have you realized, that often the photo of a star shows 6 rays spreaded symmetrically around it, independently of the camera chosen? Do you have idea of what kind of optical phenomena is behind it?
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1answer
158 views

Optical waveguide that can displace a 4D light field

Has anyone invented an optical waveguide that can "pipe" a scene from one place to another unaltered? More precisely, I want to displace (and/or rotate) a 4D light field. An optical waveguide is an ...
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1answer
420 views

If light diverges, how can there be a virtual image?

I have seen this question: Why can you see virtual images? but answers evade the question. Light needs to hit the retina in order, what is the meaning of "dashed" lines in most visualizations that ...
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2answers
236 views

How did ancient physicists around 500 BC decide that the earth is spherical?

One of the standard stories that is given for this (and is mentioned in Aristotle) is that the hull of a ship disappears first as it sails towards the horizon on a calm sunny day. Is this a myth, or ...
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2answers
451 views

How much of himself a person can see in the mirror? [closed]

A man who is $6$ ft tall is standing in front of a plane mirror that is $2$ ft in length. The mirror is placed lengthwise with its bottom edge $4$ ft above the floor on a wall that is $5$ ft ...
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1answer
633 views

How does the Fraunhofer irradiance distribution look for a double slit aperture of different lengths?

How does the Fraunhofer irradiance distribution look for a double slit aperture with $d$ = integer multiples of $b$?
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369 views

What are Jones matrices and how to derive them?

I'm coding a software for an optics lab I'm working in and I need to know how to derive expressions for Jones matrices for various polarizes. What does a Jones matrix represent and how would you ...
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1answer
409 views

light ray 'entropy'

Is there something like an entropy law for light rays? I came up with the following experiment: A black box has two circular holes in it, a small and a large one. I don't care about there ...
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1answer
257 views

How to define the required aspherical coefficients for a lens?

I would like to purchase my own aspherical lens for testing purpose. Then I need to define the required coefficients. But how? My known requirements are f=25mm F/# 2.0 and MTF 0.5 @ 120lp/mm with a wl ...
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1answer
262 views

Curved lines in a picture (Photography)

My problem is when I take a picture (a close one) the straight edge looks a little curved. In a standard camera, like a CyberShot. I would like to know if there is some relationship between the ...
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3answers
8k views

Clarification needed in the concept of apparent depth & real depth

I understood the concept of apparent depth from here: But one thing I didn't understand is, will there be difference in the real depth and apparent depth when we are looking not at an angle as ...
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1answer
257 views

Is there a known optical design for a beam compressor?

With my little knowledge of optics I have come across some 'known' designs such as the Double Gauss for example, is there a 'beam compressor'. My requirements are to reduce an incoming parallel ...
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2answers
206 views

Intensity loss due to vignetting

I was trying to get an expression for the loss of intensity due to vignetting in a simple optical system, and got a fairly complex integral. I was wondering if there's an easier way, or any book that ...
2
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3answers
303 views

mirror house gedanken experiment

Imagine a mirror house i.e. completely made of mirror with no traces of whatsoever light absorbent. Now, you introduce a light beam into that room and observe somehow through a hole. Would the room ...
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0answers
764 views

How to use the Coddington shape factor?

We are given $\sigma=\frac{r2+r1}{r2-r1}$, with $\sigma$ being the Coddington shape factor. What I am having problems with is solving for $r1$ and $r2$ when I am just given a focal length and a ...
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80 views

Optics: finding total power of a syste, including wavelength

Specifically I need to create an ABCD matrix given 2 radii of curvatures, the thickness of the lens, type of glass (BK7) and a given wavelength. I will have to figure this out eventually, so help ...
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1answer
396 views

Plenoptic camera and display

This is a two part question about the technology described here: Lytro's light field camera lets you choose focus later I'd love to get an explanation of the technology. What is the ...
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2answers
3k views

How to find the principal point in an image?

I need to find the principal point in an image. Its a point where the principal axis intersects the image sensor. Due to misalignment this point is not at the center of image always(or image sensor). ...
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2answers
354 views

How to place a mirror parallel to a wall?

For one of my experimental setup I need to place a mirror perfectly parallel to a wall. It can be placed at any distance from the wall. I would like to use any method other than direct measurement. I ...
4
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3answers
762 views

Virtual images in (plane) mirrors?

The following image is taken from teaching physics lecture Was man aus virtuellen Bildern lernen kann (in German): Now the cited paper claims that the left hand side is the correct picture to ...
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5answers
426 views

Trapping a lightray

Given a solid whose interior is a hollow sphere with perfectly reflecting mirrors. A small hole is drilled in the sphere and a photon is sent in at some angle. Will it always eventually exit through ...
196
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18answers
68k views

A mirror flips left and right, but not up and down

Why is it that when you look in the mirror left and right directions appear flipped, but not the up and down?
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1answer
319 views

Which lens parameters determines it's format?

I'm working with a megapixel sensor with a 1/2" format. I would like to know which parameters have to be taken into account in order to design a lens that can be fit with 1/2" format. The light ...
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1answer
763 views

Can reading glasses improve one's eyesight of objects lying in the long range?

Someone told me that reading glasses (a priori with a magnifying glass effect only) improve one's eyesight of objects lying in the long range distance. I am really sceptic about it since everything is ...