Ch 17: Optics Overview

About This Chapter

Use the entertaining lessons in this short chapter to enhance your preparations for a test covering the basics of optics. Take quizzes accompanying the lessons and use the practice chapter exam to assess your comprehension and gauge your readiness to take the test.

Optics Overview - Chapter Summary

This comprehensive overview of optics offers a fun look at electromagnetic waves, single- and double-slit refraction, microscopy types and much more. Boost your understanding of how thin film interference works and how telescopes form images. Once you've completed this chapter, you will be ready to:

  • Define the law of reflection of light
  • Share the definitions of refraction and dispersion
  • List different types of lenses
  • Differentiate between plane mirrors and spherical mirrors
  • Discuss diffraction and the basics of Huygen's principle
  • Identify and describe the 7 major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Explain the polarization of light and Malus's law
  • Share the meaning of polarization by reflection and discuss Brewster's law

Enjoy the ability to review the lessons in your sequence of choice and visit them as often as needed to gain full comprehension of optics. If you have questions about any topics covered in this chapter, be sure to send them to our experts. This chapter enables you to assess your comprehension of refraction, diffraction, mirrors and so much more using multiple-choice lesson quizzes. To get a complete review of this entire chapter, take advantage of the practice chapter exam.

14 Lessons in Chapter 17: Optics Overview
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is the Law of Reflection of Light? - Definition & Overview

1. What is the Law of Reflection of Light? - Definition & Overview

In this lesson you will learn about the concept of reflection, including one of the simplest laws of physics, the law of reflection. You will learn about the main features of the law of reflection as well as some application and facts about reflection in general.

Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

2. Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

Refraction explains why light bends in water. But, did you know that mathematical laws determine exactly how light waves are bent? In this lesson, we'll explore the mechanics of wave refraction, including Snell's Law and the index of refraction.

Lens Types: Simple, Compound & Other Types

3. Lens Types: Simple, Compound & Other Types

In this lesson we will explore what a compound lens is versus a simple lens as well as what it means for a lens to be concave or convex and how these particular lens shapes can be used to correct certain visual impairments.

Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

4. Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a mirror is and how plane mirrors and spherical mirrors are different, including the images they produce. A short quiz will follow.

How Telescopes Form Images

5. How Telescopes Form Images

This lesson will explain to you the fundamental points of how images are formed in refracting and reflecting telescopes as well as why our eyes need telescopes to help us see distant objects.

Microscopy Types & Applications

6. Microscopy Types & Applications

What is microscopy and how do we use it? Learn about the different types of microscopes and the ways we use them for practical purposes. You can then take a quiz and test what you've learned.

Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

7. Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what diffraction is, provide some real-life examples of diffraction, state Huygen's Principle, and explain how Huygen's Principle applies to those real-life examples. A short quiz will follow.

Single-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

8. Single-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what single-slit diffraction is, describe and picture the pattern that it creates on a distant screen and use the equation of single-slit diffraction to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

9. Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

This lesson explores double-slit diffraction, including the significance of Young's double slit experiment and how the diffraction pattern forms. You will also learn to use equations to calculate the positions of minima and maxima in the pattern.

How Thin Film Interference Works

10. How Thin Film Interference Works

After watching this video, you will be able to explain how thin film interference works, give examples of thin film interference in everyday life and solve simple problems. A short quiz will follow.

Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

11. Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

In this lesson, learn the basics of electromagnetic waves and how they make up the electromagnetic spectrum. We will explore the major trends and categories within the spectrum, as well as the various sources of electromagnetic waves.

The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

12. The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

This lesson will walk you through each of the major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Explore the unique characteristics of X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, UV rays, infrared, gamma rays, and of course, visible light.

Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

13. Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what polarization of light is, list a number of examples of how polarization of light is used, state Malus's Law, and use it to solve problems involving the intensity of light through a polarizer.

Polarization by Reflection & Brewster's Law

14. Polarization by Reflection & Brewster's Law

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what polarization by reflection is, give a few examples of polarization in everyday life, explain Brewster's Law descriptively and use the equation to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support