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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How do you calculate the change in location of the focal point by rotating the lense?

Image you have a lens with a certain focal length. Light will be focused into the focal plane on the Optical Axis if the light is a collimated beam which travels parallel to the Optical Axis. But I ...
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2answers
788 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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1answer
20 views

Actual spot size = geometric spot size + diffraction spot size?

I read in [1] that for a camera obscura the total spot diameter is equal to the diameter of the spot produced concerning geometric optics only plus the diameter of the spot concerning only ...
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43 views

Breakdown of Snell [on hold]

I have reason to believe that if we are using an accurately formed thin prism, then very near the working apex, where there are few atomic layers in a latticed prism, there will be inaccuracies in the ...
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2answers
31 views

How does change in medium affect object distance/image distance?

Say,we have a container filled with a liquid of refractive index $7/5$ upto a height up $H$. There exists a plane glass mirror at the bottom of the container. Now if a fish were placed at a height of ...
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2answers
1k views

Highly diminished image of an object placed at infinity

Consider an object at infinity. The rays coming from it are parallel to each other. Let one of the parallel rays pass through the focus $F_1$ of a thin lens, and let a second ray pass through the ...
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1answer
34 views

Focal Length Calculation [closed]

Although I research in the internet, I couldn't find detailed answer. I have a question and I want to make sure from the answer. The ligth is coming from a fiber laser source and focused on a ...
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2answers
50 views

Optics to correct focal distance across a plane

I have a laser beam which is focused to a point at a certain distance. I'm then going to use a galvanometer to scan that beam across a plane. Obviously, as the beam scans across the plane, the ...
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1answer
87 views

Does this picture look wrong to anyone else? [closed]

There is a typo. One which obfuscates the main point and makes it difficult for anyone unfamiliar with the problem to deduce the answer.
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1answer
22 views

Minimum deviation of prism

Is it right to say angle of minimum deviation of a prism is an arithmetic mean of incident angle and emergent angle?
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45 views

Definition of a ray?

The typical definition of a ray and the one that I was initially taught was that a ray was a line perpendicular to the wave front. However, when reading up on birefringence it seems as though there ...
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1answer
18 views

Power distribution in a defocused focal plane

Given an optical system of focal length $EFL$ and f number $f/n$, if the focal plane is defocused in a way that the defocused plane distance from the focused plane is $d$, assuming we have a point ...
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1answer
66 views

Would the moon be brighter if it were completely spherical?

I remember reading Galileo's 'Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems' where Salviati and Sagredo explain how the moon would be almost entirely dark if it were a perfect sphere but after ...
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21 views

Where do rays that are not marginal or principal get stopped?

The picture is from an MIT lecture but the concepts are explained in many optical texts. The chief/principal rays go through the center of the aperture stop, hit the edge of the field stop, and the ...
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298 views

Reconciling total internal reflection and the evanescent Wave

I understand that light is guided in a dielectric waveguide via total internal reflection. My question is regarding the origin of power contained in the evanescent field traveling along the direction ...
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3answers
4k 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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2answers
96 views

Why do you need at least two rays to form an image?

Why isn't enough one light beam to form an image in your retina for example?
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19 views

Geometric optics, the size of the image

I have the following question from Snell's Law, I calculated the apparent location of the light source by: X = 20/1.47 = 13.6 So, this should be the apparent location of the light source. ...
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0answers
252 views

What is the physical meaning of magnifying power of a telescope?

So the following question was given in the JEE Mains 2016 conducted throughout India on 3rd April. An observer looks at a distant tree of height 10 m with a telescope of magnifying power of 20. To ...
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3answers
546 views

What determines the sharpness of a shadow?

What are the factors that affect the sharpness of a shadow? I would think that the distance between the light source and the object, the distance between the object and the shadow, and the size of ...
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2answers
517 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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0answers
21 views

Is it possible to use a tapered fiber to collimate a single-mode light beam?

I would like to collimate a light beam stemming from a single-mode LED source. As the source is pretty big (a few millimeters), collimation with a single lens gives a bad result, i.e. a quite ...
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1answer
50 views

Why does a specific static image “move” when moving my head? (glass user)

I am a daily PC user. As most users, I have a taskbar (using Windows) that shows icons of programs. My two screens are big (24") and I'm at ~60cm distance from them, so fairly often I need to turn my ...
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1answer
33 views

Attenuation of light through a simple lens, and is it important?

I have an object with incident light rays traveling away from this object. Some of these rays are traveling from the left-hand side through a simple lens (say, a double-convex converging lens). As ...
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2answers
3k 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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2answers
86 views

Why is this laser beam being scattered(and not)?

I was shining a laser beam through a liquid filled test tube(an ester particularly),and I found this phenomenon rather intriguing.Have a look. Now when I passed the laser straight through the ...
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1answer
46 views

Calculating angle of refraction of water in this lab setup? [closed]

The setup of the experiment is as drawn in the picture (where the red circle is a rotating disk, the box is a laser and the straight line the laser beam and the semi circle in the middle of the ...
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3answers
147k views

Virtual vs Real image

I'm doing magnification and lens in class currently, and I really don't get why virtual and real images are called what they are. A virtual image occurs the object is less than the focal length of ...
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2answers
68 views

What is exactly an ‘virtual object’ ? ( From the point of view of lens maker’s formula )

Here’s an image from my textbook It shows, how an image is obtained from a convex lens. The second and the third images, shows in depth , that how a convex lens behaves. They say, that suppose ...
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4answers
3k views

Is it possible to focus the radiation from a black body to make something hotter than that black body?

My previous question wasn't specific enough. I'll try to be more specific. Let's imagine we have a hot body let's say 6000K hot that emits lots of thermal radiation. Let's assume 1kW of radiative ...
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1answer
19 views

Why should the ray become parallel to base in a triangular prism at minimum deviation?

In the case of minimum deviation, the refracting angles at two surfaces are equal. Then the ray inside the prism should be parallel to the base only if it is isosceles triangular prism. But everywhere ...
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3answers
2k views

Calculating light's lateral shift in a glass slab

I have tried to compute light's lateral shift after passing through a glass slab In terms of the incidence angle $\theta_1$, the slab thickness $d$ and the refraction index $n$, I have found that ...
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2answers
41 views

Magnification vs Magnifying Power [closed]

I've read it a lot of times. But I've not been able to get around magnifying power and magnification of a simple microscope and the difference between them. Can someone explain?
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1answer
38 views

Deep confusion with conventions and signs in geometric optics

This is an equation given in my book. The question is why have they used a negative sign on the LHS? Now, if you try to derive the mirror equation with simple geometry, you get 1/v +1/u =1/f . ...
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Plotting EM fields

I am currently studying transformation optics and learning about electromagnetic cloaking. To plot my results(Electric and magnetic fields) i have to solve maxwell's equations given the permeability ...
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3answers
24 views

What is the meaning of size of the image?

Say I am standing at a distance of $20m$ from a plane mirror and looking at it. My image in it as I see it is smaller than how I perceive myself. Why then does my physics textbook tell me that in a ...
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4answers
27 views

Light field 5D Plenoptic Function

Wikipedia says "Since rays in space can be parameterized by three coordinates, x, y, and z and two angles $\theta$ and $\phi$, as shown at left, it is a five-dimensional function" I'm not ...
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2answers
47 views

Shape of a mirror that focuses non-parallel light

If I am not mistaken, a parabola is the shape that a mirror has to be to focus ideal, parallel light rays to a single point. Real light sources are usually not actually parallel though, but are more ...
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1answer
36 views

Concave lens path of ray

What will be the path of ray passing through the first focal length of a biconcave thin lens kept in air? I know that a ray passing through focus or appearing to pass through focus of a thin lens ...
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3answers
829 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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1answer
56 views

What's the difference between two types of diaphragms?

What's the principal difference between aperture iris diaphragm and field iris diaphragm?
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2answers
51 views

The image of a wall clock is to be obtained on the opposite wall 2m away by the means of a convex lens. What is the minimum focal length required? [closed]

I'm in 10th grade and this question came in my physics test. Nobody was able to answer this question correctly except my physics teacher who says that the answer is 2m. My answer is that there should ...
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4answers
195 views

Shining a laser onto a mirror

Theoretically, if I shined a laser at a mirror at an angle of 0 degrees so that the light was perfectly reflected back to the light source, then I should not be able to see the light because it is not ...
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2answers
566 views

Phase and amplitude information of an image

By applying Fourier Transform to an image we can get its magnitude as well as phase spectrum. A magnitude spectrum describes how various frequencies are attenuated and accentuated in that image but ...
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2answers
46 views

Reflection law (from Fermat's principle) for arbitrary surface

Normally reflection law is deduced from Fermat's principle (e.g. here) for a planar mirror. Also some other mirror surfaces can be studied (e.g. here they treat a spherical mirror). Is there some ...
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3answers
2k views

Why do we assume that rays from infinity are parallel?

If light rays are parallel to each other , if they are from infinity, they are not gonna make an image because they won't intersect with each other. So we are not gonna see the image. Does that means ...
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0answers
43 views

How to solve this problem : A glass sphere of radius 1 m and refractive index 1.5 is silvered…? [closed]

Problem: A glass sphere of radius 1 m and refractive index 1.5 is silvered at its back. A point object is kept at a distance of 1 m from the front face, as shown in the figure. Find the position of ...
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3answers
73 views

Application of Snells law

What i know about snell's law: It is applied when a ray of light meets the interface of some other medium and we can find the fourth quantity if we know any of the three quantities in the following ...
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3answers
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519 views

Do light waves precisely follow null geodesic paths in General Relativity?

In special relativity one may show that a plane wave solution of Maxwell's equations (in a vacuum), of the form $A^a=C^a\mathrm{e}^{\mathrm{i}\psi}$ has the following properties: The normal ...