Get it on Google Play
New! Download Unionpedia on your Android™ device!
Faster access than browser!

Ray (optics)

Index Ray (optics)

In optics a ray is an idealized model of light, obtained by choosing a line that is perpendicular to the wavefronts of the actual light, and that points in the direction of energy flow. [1]

46 relations: Angle of incidence (optics), Aperture, Arthur Schuster, Birefringence, Cladding (fiber optics), Conservation of energy, Curve, Diffraction, Energy, Entrance pupil, Etendue, Exit pupil, Fermat's principle, Geometrical optics, Guided ray, Homogeneity (physics), Image, Lagrange invariant, Light, Light field, Line (geometry), Maxwell's equations, Multi-mode optical fiber, Normal (geometry), Optical axis, Optical fiber, Optical medium, Optics, Paraxial approximation, Pencil (optics), Perpendicular, Phase (waves), Physical optics, Ray tracing (physics), Ray transfer matrix analysis, Reflection (physics), Refractive index, Snell's law, Specular reflection, Step-index profile, Tangent, Total internal reflection, Wave interference, Wave vector, Wavefront, Wavelength.

Angle of incidence (optics)

In geometric optics, the angle of incidence is the angle between a ray incident on a surface and the line perpendicular to the surface at the point of incidence, called the normal.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Angle of incidence (optics) · See more »


In optics, an aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Aperture · See more »

Arthur Schuster

Sir Franz Arthur Friedrich Schuster FRS FRSE (12 September 1851 – 17 October 1934) was a German-born British physicist known for his work in spectroscopy, electrochemistry, optics, X-radiography and the application of harmonic analysis to physics.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Arthur Schuster · See more »


Birefringence is the optical property of a material having a refractive index that depends on the polarization and propagation direction of light.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Birefringence · See more »

Cladding (fiber optics)

Cladding in optical fibers is one or more layers of materials of lower refractive index, in intimate contact with a core material of higher refractive index.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Cladding (fiber optics) · See more »

Conservation of energy

In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant, it is said to be ''conserved'' over time.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Conservation of energy · See more »


In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is, generally speaking, an object similar to a line but that need not be straight.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Curve · See more »


--> Diffraction refers to various phenomena that occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or a slit.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Diffraction · See more »


In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Energy · See more »

Entrance pupil

In an optical system, the entrance pupil is the optical image of the physical aperture stop, as 'seen' through the front of the lens system.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Entrance pupil · See more »


Etendue or étendue is a property of light in an optical system, which characterizes how "spread out" the light is in area and angle.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Etendue · See more »

Exit pupil

In optics, the exit pupil is a virtual aperture in an optical system.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Exit pupil · See more »

Fermat's principle

In optics, Fermat's principle or the principle of least time, named after French mathematician Pierre de Fermat, is the principle that the path taken between two points by a ray of light is the path that can be traversed in the least time.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Fermat's principle · See more »

Geometrical optics

Geometrical optics, or ray optics, describes light propagation in terms of rays.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Geometrical optics · See more »

Guided ray

A guided ray (also bound ray or trapped ray) is a ray of light in a multi-mode optical fiber, which is confined by the core.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Guided ray · See more »

Homogeneity (physics)

In physics, a homogeneous material or system has the same properties at every point; it is uniform without irregularities.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Homogeneity (physics) · See more »


An image (from imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person, thus providing a depiction of it.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Image · See more »

Lagrange invariant

In optics the Lagrange invariant is a measure of the light propagating through an optical system.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Lagrange invariant · See more »


Light is electromagnetic radiation within a certain portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Light · See more »

Light field

The light field is a vector function that describes the amount of light flowing in every direction through every point in space.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Light field · See more »

Line (geometry)

The notion of line or straight line was introduced by ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects (i.e., having no curvature) with negligible width and depth.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Line (geometry) · See more »

Maxwell's equations

Maxwell's equations are a set of partial differential equations that, together with the Lorentz force law, form the foundation of classical electromagnetism, classical optics, and electric circuits.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Maxwell's equations · See more »

Multi-mode optical fiber

Multi-mode optical fiber is a type of optical fiber mostly used for communication over short distances, such as within a building or on a campus.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Multi-mode optical fiber · See more »

Normal (geometry)

In geometry, a normal is an object such as a line or vector that is perpendicular to a given object.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Normal (geometry) · See more »

Optical axis

An optical axis is a line along which there is some degree of rotational symmetry in an optical system such as a camera lens or microscope.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Optical axis · See more »

Optical fiber

An optical fiber or optical fibre is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Optical fiber · See more »

Optical medium

An optical medium is material through which electromagnetic waves propagate.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Optical medium · See more »


Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Optics · See more »

Paraxial approximation

In geometric optics, the paraxial approximation is a small-angle approximation used in Gaussian optics and ray tracing of light through an optical system (such as a lens).

New!!: Ray (optics) and Paraxial approximation · See more »

Pencil (optics)

In optics, a pencil or pencil of rays is a geometric construct used to describe a beam or portion of a beam of electromagnetic radiation or charged particles, typically in the form of a narrow cone or cylinder.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Pencil (optics) · See more »


In elementary geometry, the property of being perpendicular (perpendicularity) is the relationship between two lines which meet at a right angle (90 degrees).

New!!: Ray (optics) and Perpendicular · See more »

Phase (waves)

Phase is the position of a point in time (an instant) on a waveform cycle.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Phase (waves) · See more »

Physical optics

In physics, physical optics, or wave optics, is the branch of optics that studies interference, diffraction, polarization, and other phenomena for which the ray approximation of geometric optics is not valid.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Physical optics · See more »

Ray tracing (physics)

In physics, ray tracing is a method for calculating the path of waves or particles through a system with regions of varying propagation velocity, absorption characteristics, and reflecting surfaces.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Ray tracing (physics) · See more »

Ray transfer matrix analysis

Ray transfer matrix analysis (also known as ABCD matrix analysis) is a type of ray tracing technique used in the design of some optical systems, particularly lasers.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Ray transfer matrix analysis · See more »

Reflection (physics)

Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Reflection (physics) · See more »

Refractive index

In optics, the refractive index or index of refraction of a material is a dimensionless number that describes how light propagates through that medium.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Refractive index · See more »

Snell's law

Snell's law (also known as Snell–Descartes law and the law of refraction) is a formula used to describe the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction, when referring to light or other waves passing through a boundary between two different isotropic media, such as water, glass, or air.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Snell's law · See more »

Specular reflection

Specular reflection, also known as regular reflection, is the mirror-like reflection of waves, such as light, from a surface.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Specular reflection · See more »

Step-index profile

For an optical fiber, a step-index profile is a refractive index profile characterized by a uniform refractive index within the core and a sharp decrease in refractive index at the core-cladding interface so that the cladding is of a lower refractive index.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Step-index profile · See more »


In geometry, the tangent line (or simply tangent) to a plane curve at a given point is the straight line that "just touches" the curve at that point.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Tangent · See more »

Total internal reflection

Total internal reflection is the phenomenon which occurs when a propagated wave strikes a medium boundary at an angle larger than a particular critical angle with respect to the normal to the surface.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Total internal reflection · See more »

Wave interference

In physics, interference is a phenomenon in which two waves superpose to form a resultant wave of greater, lower, or the same amplitude.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Wave interference · See more »

Wave vector

In physics, a wave vector (also spelled wavevector) is a vector which helps describe a wave.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Wave vector · See more »


In physics, a wavefront is the locus of points characterized by propagation of positions of identical phase: propagation of a point in 1D, a curve in 2D or a surface in 3D.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Wavefront · See more »


In physics, the wavelength is the spatial period of a periodic wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats.

New!!: Ray (optics) and Wavelength · See more »

Redirects here:

Chief Ray, Chief ray, Incident light, Incident ray, Leaky ray, Leaky rays, Light ray, Light rays, Lightray, Lightray (comics), Marginal ray, Meridional ray, Ray of light, Reflected ray, Refracted ray, Sagittal ray, Skew ray, Tangential ray, Transverse ray, Tunneling ray, Tunneling rays, 🗤, 🗥, 🗦, 🗧.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_(optics)

Hey! We are on Facebook now! »