Geometrical optics, or ray optics, describes light propagation in terms of "rays". The "ray" in geometric optics is an abstraction, or "instrument", which can be used to approximately model how light will propagate. Light rays are defined to propagate in a rectilinear path as far as they travel in a homogeneous medium. Rays bend (and may split in two) at the interface between two dissimilar media, may curve in a medium where the refractive index changes, and may be absorbed and reflected. Geometrical optics provides rules, which may depend on the color (wavelength) of the ray, for propagating these rays through an optical system. This is a significant simplification of optics that fails to account for optical effects such as diffraction and interference. It is an excellent approximation, however, when the wavelength is very small compared with the size of structures with which the light interacts. Geometric optics can be used to describe the geometrical aspects of imaging, including optical aberrations.
Other articles related to "geometrical optics, optics, optic":
... This phenomenon is called total internal reflection and allows for fibre optics technology ... As light signals travel down a fibre optic cable, it undergoes total internal reflection allowing for essentially no light lost over the length of the cable ... The phenomenon is studied in the field of gradient-index optics ...
Famous quotes containing the words optics and/or geometrical:
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