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Notes on Homework
Please tear the "ruffle edges" off of homework
done in a notebook and torn out
If the homework is two pages long, staple the
pages together
If you have a problem with the grading, you think
something was graded incorrectly, points were
added incorrectly, or something was entered
wrong into D2L, put your homework and a
written explanation in Mollys mailbox.


Chapter 2: Geometrical Optics

Reflection Dispersion
Half-silvered mirrors Prisms
Locating an image Rainbows
Multiple reflections Diamonds

Total internal
Fiber Optics

Transmission and Reflection

Incident ray Transmitted ray

Reflected ray

The incident ray causes electrons in the material to oscillate,

which generates a new wave. Some of this new wave travels
backwards as the reflected wave, some travels forward, and
combines with the incident wave as the transmitted wave.


Half-silvered mirrors
Silver is a good mirror because of all the oscillating charges. But
what if the layer is too thin to allow the electrons to move enough
to fully cancel the forward going wave?

This is called a half-silvered

mirror, because half the light is
transmitted and half is reflected.

Often called one way mirrors,

this is not technically correct.
Light passes both ways through
the mirror, but typical use leads
them to appear to be only one
way mirrors.

Half-Silvered Mirrors: Application


Clicker Question

If someone turns the light

on in the policemans room,
what does the suspect see?

A. Only his reflection

B. Only the policeman
C. Both his own reflection
and the policeman ??

Law of Reflection

Ray tracing: normal to surface

1. Draw the incident ray reflected ray
incident ray
2. Draw the normal, a line

at right angles to the
surface, at the point
where the incident ray hits
3. The reflected ray will be at
the same angle to the reflective surface (mirror)
normal as the incident ray

This law is independent of the reflective surface material. It only

matters that the surface is reflective.


Notes on Ray Tracing

There are an infinite number of rays that you can

draw, but some of them are more useful than
Pinhole camera


Notes on Ray Tracing

There are an infinite number of rays that you can

draw, but some of them are more useful than
Pinhole camera


We only NEED these two rays to find the position and size of the image


Specular and Diffuse Reflections

From a mirror or mirror-like From a rough or highly

surface textured surface, like a
sheet of paper, cloth, or fur

Clicker Question

Where are you most likely to see a good reflected

image of yourself?

A. A pool of water
B. A polished metal sheet
C. A piece of window glass


Reflections from the surface of water

Reflected Image Formation


Virtual Images

The virtual image is in the same place

regardless of the location of the viewer
The image is called virtual because no
real rays reach the image, and it cannot
be seen by putting a screen at its position

Image Formation in Flat Mirrors


Multiple Mirrors


A virtual image can act as an intermediate image and generate

its own virtual image

Multiple Mirrors

The mirrors do not have to be at right angles

To avoid ray-tracing at weird angles, you can extend one of the
mirrors and position the image in the appropriate spot



Retroreflectors are a special set of multiple mirrors that reflect

incoming rays back the way they came, parallel to the incoming ray
They are used in bike reflectors and other safety equipment

When going from a fast to a
slow medium, light bends Normal Air (fast medium)
towards the normal to the
surface Glass or
When going from a slow to a water
fast medium, light bends away (slow)
from the normal to the surface
The speed of the medium is
Normal Air (fast medium)
related to its index of
refraction , n
n = 1.3 for glass Glass or
n = 1.5 for water water
Remember there is still a
reflection as well


Refraction Analogy

The rows of marching soldiers

are analogous to the wave
fronts of light
Normal to
front edge of When the soldiers hit muddy
slower terrain terrain they slow down
Rows of soldiers after This causes the rows or parts of
they hit slow terrain rows in the mud to move less
far in a given time.
Rows of soldiers before Another way of saying this is
they hit rough (muddy) that the ray perpendicular to
slow terrain
the rows of soldiers outside the
mud bends towards the normal
Incident ray to the muddy region for rows in
the mud

Refraction Analogy
You can imagine that the
muddier the terrain, the more
the soldiers will slow down, and
the more the ray will bend
Normal to towards the normal.
front edge of
slower terrain
Different optical materials are
differently muddy, which we
Rows of soldiers after
they hit slow terrain
identify using the index of
Higher index materials are
Rows of soldiers before
they hit rough (muddy)
muddier and bend the ray
slow terrain more than lower index materials

n = 1.3 for glass

Incident ray
n = 1.5 for water
n = 2.4 for diamond


Locating an Image Underwater

The ray from the fishs fin is
bent away from the normal
as it exits the water
We interpret the ray as
having arrived in a straight
Adding one more ray from
the fishs fin (the ray normal
to the surface is chosen
because it is not bent)
allows us to locate the There is still a reflection here
image of the fish as well

Clicker Question

Where does the fish

see the fisherman?
A. Where he is
B. Not at all
C. Higher than where
he is
D. Lower than where
he is


Clicker questions Ch. 2

10.The light and fish are
both underwater in the
lake. Where does the Top of lake

fish see the light and/or

the image of the light?
a) Higher
b) Lower
c) Where the light actually is
d) (c) and (a)
e) (c) and (b)

Total Internal Reflection

Recall that rays moving
from glass (slow) to air
(fast) bend away from the
The amount by which they
bend away depends on the Glass
For any material, we can
find an angle where there is
no transmitted ray, called Glass
the critical angle


Fiber Optics

Occur when the index of refraction
increases as you travel into the medium
In our analogy with the marching
soldiers this means they go slower and
slower as they advance.
Imagine the mud getting deeper and
deeper as they advance.
The ray keeps bending more and more
towards the normal as the mud
In the limit as the muddier transitions
Incident ray become more gradual the refracted ray
looks curved



(color indicates temperature, not a sunset or sunrise)

Hot air is less dense, and is thus a faster medium than cold air. This
leads to the ray bending away from the normal. Because we
interpret rays as traveling in straight lines, we see a reflection in
the road, and assume it is wet.

Flying Islands Mirage


Flying Islands Mirage

(color indicates temperature, not a sunset or sunrise)

Cold Ocean
The temperature near the surface of the ocean is often cooler than
the air above it, we see the upside down version of the road
mirage, as the ray travels from cool to warm air, and is bent away
from normal. Again, we interpret rays as traveling in straight lines,
and thus the island appears to float above the ocean

So far, what weve learned about refraction means that
in a prism would refract like this:

But weve seen that what really happens is this:



Dispersion means that different colors

(frequencies/wavelengths) of light have different
speeds through a material (different index of
refraction), and thus refract at different angles.
In most transparent optical materials, blue (high
frequency) light has a higher index than red (low
frequency), and thus blue light is bent more than

Clicker Question

Where does blue come out of prism, compared to

A) red


C) Somewhere in the middle


What is the normal to a curved surface

and how is it used to find rays?
To find the normal to a curved
surface at a point where a ray
hits that surface (and will be
reflected or refracted)
First draw a tangent line to the
curve (or tangent plane to the
The normal is perpendicular to
that line or plane and going
through the point
Once you have drawn the normal
you can draw the reflected or
refracted ray



Diamond has a very high
index of refraction leading to Diamond: n=2.4
a small critical angle for total
internal reflection 24.5

Diamonds are cut such that

most light entering will hit a
back facet at more than the
critical angle, reflecting many
times before returning out
the front
This long path through the
diamond leads to a lot of
dispersion, spreading the
colors out