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Ch 16: Ray Optics & Optical Instruments

About This Chapter

This chapter uses brief but informative lessons to help you understand ray optics and optical instruments. These resources can help you learn more about this topic for personal use or for a big exam, depending on your goals.

Ray Optics & Optical Instruments - Chapter Summary

The collection of text and video lessons in this chapter covers key topics related to ray optics and optical instruments. You can learn more about plane and spherical mirrors, prisms, different types of lenses, and optical aberrations. The lessons also compare refracting and reflecting telescopes and explore some of the powers and limitations of telescopes. After completing these lessons, you should be able to:

  • Recall the main types of light rays
  • Review the methods astronomers use to measure light
  • Define what light is
  • Understand what Huygen's principle is
  • Explain the rectilinear propagation of light
  • Describe the main features of the law of reflection of light
  • Discover the process of frustrated total internal reflection

After you complete each lesson, you can test your knowledge with the accompanying multiple-choice quizzes. We also have a chapter test that that gauges your overall understanding of this material. The lesson quizzes and chapter tests give you immediate feedback and can make you feel more comfortable in your ability to answer similar questions on an exam.

14 Lessons in Chapter 16: Ray Optics & Optical Instruments
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Light Rays: Definition, Types & Sources

1. Light Rays: Definition, Types & Sources

This lesson will explain what light rays are, the main types of light rays, and how they can be simulated using lasers or beams of light. A short quiz will follow.

How Telescopes Detect & Measure Light

2. How Telescopes Detect & Measure Light

This lesson will go over the numerous methods astronomers can use to detect and measure light, including photography, spectroscopy, photometry, and CCDs.

The Wave Theory of Light: Definition & Evidence

3. The Wave Theory of Light: Definition & Evidence

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what light is and why we thought it was nothing but a wave before the 20th century. At the end, test what you've learned with a short quiz.

Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

4. 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.

Rectilinear Propagation of Light: Definition & Examples

5. Rectilinear Propagation of Light: Definition & Examples

A light source emits light rays in all directions. In this lesson, we'll learn how specifically light travels and compare it to the motion of other objects.

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

6. 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.

Frustrated Total Internal Reflection

7. Frustrated Total Internal Reflection

Under certain conditions light that should be reflected in total internal reflection can be refracted instead. This process is known as frustrated total internal reflection, and in this lesson we will learn how it works.

Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

8. 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.

Thin Lenses: Types & Measurement

9. Thin Lenses: Types & Measurement

We are around many thin lenses throughout our daily lives, but most of us don't really know what this means. In this lesson, we'll explore the measurements of lenses, the common types of thin lenses, and the different ways they affect light.

How the Combination of Lenses Improves Optical Aberration

10. How the Combination of Lenses Improves Optical Aberration

Even the best simple lenses can come with some basic problems. In this lesson, we'll examine the issue of optical aberrations and see how we can fix them with more complex lenses.

What is a Prism? - Definition & Refraction

11. What is a Prism? - Definition & Refraction

In this lesson, you'll learn about the prism and what prisms do to white light. You'll explore the properties of light waves, as well as the concept of refraction, which causes white light to bend in a prism and spread out into the different spectrum of colors.

Lens Types: Simple, Compound & Other Types

12. 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.

Refracting & Reflecting Telescopes: Key Concepts

13. Refracting & Reflecting Telescopes: Key Concepts

This lesson will discuss some key terms and concepts relating to the refracting and reflecting telescope: primary mirror/lens, eyepiece, focal length, focal point, chromatic aberration, and achromatic lens.

Telescopes: Powers & Limitations

14. Telescopes: Powers & Limitations

This lesson will discuss some limitations and three important powers of the telescope: the light gathering power, resolving power, and magnifying power.

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

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