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Light can be viewed as beams travelling between points. However, from most light sources, the light radiates outwards as a series of wavefronts. Light from a light source is bent - wavefronts of light have a property nown as curvature.

"s light travels further away from its source, its curvature decreases. Consider a sphere e#panding gradually from a point, which represents a given wavefront of light. "s the sphere e#pands, the curvature of its surface decreases when we loo at any part of the surface with a constant area. $t should be noted at this point that light from a source infinitely far away has % curvature - it is straight. &his is useful, as ambient light 'light from a source that is far away( can be assumed to have a curvature of %, as the difference between this and its actual curvature is negligible. &he curvature of a wavefront is given as)

, where v is the distance from the wavefront to the in-focus image depicted by the light. Curvature is measured in dioptres '!(.

*ower of lenses[edit]

&he function of a lens is to increase or decrease the curvature of a wavefront. Lenses have a +power+. &his is the curvature which the lens adds to the wavefront. *ower is measured in dioptres, and is given by the formula)

, where f e,uals the focal length of the lens. &his is the distance between the lens and the point where an image will be in focus, if the wavefronts entering the other side of the lens are parallel.

.verall, then, the formula relating the curvature of the wavefronts leaving a lens to the curvature of the wavefronts entering it is)

where v is the distance between the lens 'its centre( and the in-focus image formed, u is the distance between the lens 'its centre( and the ob/ect which the in-focus image is of, and f is the focal length of the lens. &he power of the lens can be substituted in for the reciprocal of f, as they are the same thing.

$f we were to place a diagram of the lens on a grid, labelled with cartesian co-ordinates, we would discover that measuring the distance of the ob/ect distance is negative, in comparison to the image distance. "s a result, the value for u must always be negative. &his is nown as the Cartesian convention. &his means that, if light enters the lens with a positive curvature, it will leave with a negative curvature unless the lens is powerful enough to ma e the light leave with a positive curvature.

&ypes of Lens[edit]

&ypes of lens

&here are two types of lens) Converging lenses add curvature to the wavefronts, causing them to converge more. &hese have a positive power, and have a curved surface which is wider in the middle than at the rim. Diverging lenses remove curvature from the wavefronts, causing them to diverge more. &hese have a negative power, and have a curved surface with a dip in the middle.

0agnification[edit]

0agnification is a measure of how much an image has been enlarged by a lens. $t is given by the formula)

where h1 and h2 are the heights of the image 'or ob/ect( before and after being magnified, respectively. $f an image is shrun by a lens, the magnification is between % and 1. 0agnification can also be given as)

"n easy way to remember this in the middle of a e#am is the formula)

where $ is image si3e, " is actual si3e of the ob/ect 0 is the magnification factor.

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