Geometrical Optics

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.

Read more about Geometrical OpticsExplanation, Reflection, Refraction, Underlying Mathematics

Other articles related to "geometrical optics, geometrical, optics":

Matrix (mathematics) - Applications - Geometrical Optics
... Geometrical optics provides further matrix applications ... The result is a model in which light rays are indeed geometrical rays ...
History Of Optics - Early History of Optics - The Beginnings of Geometrical Optics
... See also Geometrical optics and Ray (optics) The early writers discussed here treated vision more as a geometrical than as a physical, physiological, or psychological problem ... The first known author of a treatise on geometrical optics was the geometer Euclid (c ... Euclid began his study of optics as he began his study of geometry, with a set of self-evident axioms ...
Geometrical Optics - Underlying Mathematics - A Simple Example
... To justify this technique, the remaining terms must be shown to be small in some sense ... This can be done using energy estimates, and an assumption of rapidly oscillating initial conditions ...
James P. C. Southall
... His two specialties were geometrical optics and physiological optics ... He wrote Principles of Geometrical Optics in 1910 and Mirrors, Prisms and Lenses (1918, rev ... is probably best known as editor of the American edition of Helmholtz’s Physiological Optics (1924–25) ...