What is optics?

Alexander Smaznev
Alexander Smaznev
February 1, 2015
What is optics?

With the word "optics" we come across, for example, when we pass by the outlet in which glasses are sold. Also, many people remember that they studied optics at school. What is optics?

Optics is a branch of physics that studies the nature of light, its properties, the laws governing propagation in various media, and the interaction of light with substances. To better understand what optics is, you need to understand what light is.

Ideas about light in modern physics

Physics considers light familiar to us as a complex phenomenon having a dual nature. On the one hand, light is considered to be a stream of tiny particles - quanta of light (photons). On the other hand, light can be described as a form of electromagnetic waves having a specific length.

Separate sections of optics study light as a physical phenomenon from various sides.

Optics sections

  • Geometrical optics. Considers the laws of light propagation, as well as the reflection and refraction of light rays.Represents light as a ray propagating in a homogeneous medium in a straight line (this is its similarity with the geometric ray). Does not take into account the wave nature of light.
  • Wave optics. Studying the properties of light as a kind of electromagnetic waves.
  • Quantum optics. Studies the quantum properties of light (explores the photoelectric effect, photochemical processes, laser radiation, etc.)

Optics in human life

Studying the nature of light and the patterns of its distribution, a person uses the knowledge gained to his advantage.

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