You are on page 1of 13

The Physics of

Sight
Crystal Sigulinsky

University of Utah:
Interdepartmental Program in
Neuroscience
crystal.cornett@utah.edu
Objectives
 The eye
 Image Formation
 Apertures
 Lenses

 Accomodation
 Nearsightedness and Farsightedness
 Glasses
Sight
The eyes mediate sight
 Function
 Sensory organ for sight
 Detects light and converts it into neural
responses that the brain interprets
Eye Anatomy

 Anatomy
 Light enters
through the pupil
 Photoreceptors
(light sensing
cells) are located
in the retina
 Like the film in a
camera
 GOAL: to focus
the image on
the back of the
retina
The Pupil is an Aperture
 Apertures
 “openings”
 Pupil
 Opening in the
center of the Pupil
eyeball
 Bounded by the Iris
 The iris controls the
size of the pupil
 Opening through Iris
which light enters
the eye
Lenses of the Eye
 Cornea
 Crystalline Lens
 Primary function
 To focus the image on the back of the
retina
Hyperopia
(Farsightedness)
 INABILITY of the eye to focus on NEARBY
objects
 “Can see far” – no difficulty focusing on
distant objects
 Images of nearby objects are formed at a
location BEHIND the retina
 Near point is located farther away from
the eye
Causes of Hyperopia

 Shortened eyeball (retina is closer than


normal to the cornea lens system)
 Lens can no longer assume highly convex
(fat) shape
 Accomodation no longer working
 Weakened ciliary muscles
 Reduced flexibility of the lens
 Common as people age
Correction of Hyperopia
 Need to refocus the image on the
retina
 Decrease the focal length of the cornea
lens system
 More refraction

 Add a converging lens


Myopia
(Nearsightedness)
 Inability of the eye to focus on DISTANT
objects
 “Can see near” – no difficulty focusing on
nearby objects
 Images of distant objects are formed in
front of the retina
 Far point is closer than normal
Causes of Myopia

 Not usually caused by aging


 Bulging cornea (greater curvature)
 Elongated eyeball (retina is farther
away than normal from the cornea-
lens system
Correction of Myopia
 Need to refocus the image on the
retina
 Increase the focal length of the cornea
lens system
 Less refraction

 Add a diverging lens