Sunday, May 2, 2010

This is what I learned about optics. So called images are created by reflecting an object in a mirror that is either converging like ) or diverging like (. Each mirror is different in that its radius and curvature and its focal point have different lengths, even if the radius of curvature is always equal to two times the distance to the focal point. The characteristics of a reflected or mirrored image are expressed by three categories. The position determines were the image is located, the nature of the image determines wether it is real or virtual and the size of the image... well determines the size. Usually we use the algebraic equations for magnification to solve for the different characteristics, but sometimes we need to sketch the rays of light. These images come to exist when light rays are reflected by a surface. This is why we use Ray diagrams when trying to sketch an image reflected by a mirror. The first ray is emitted over the top of the object and moves toward the either concave or convex mirror where its is reflected in a direction through the focal point. The second ray i emitted over the top of an object through the focal point but moves parallel to the ground as soon as it hits the mirror.  When these mirrors are replaced by converging or diverging lenses, the principles of the Ray diagrams still apply, but we can also solve problems concerning lenses with the lens equation. Further we can identify the index of reflection and the critical angle by means of equations which allows us to determine the characteristics of reflecting materials like water or glass. My problem solving skills improved a little but the lack of time that I have to spend with these sorts of problems makes it easy to loose the overview. I need to improve my knowledge about the flexibility of equations to improve my work. I think that this is the hardest part of my problems so far. The endlesnes of equations and the need to find the one that perfectly fits your purposes.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Very good reflection!
    You covered almost everything and I am sure that you will have no problem with this topic on the final exam.
    On the 4th line (from the bottom up) you said:
    "he characteristics of reflecting materials like water" I think you probably meant to say "refracting".
    Note: I deleted the comment above as I had a typo, sorry!