Ch 20: Wave Optics in Physics

About This Chapter

Lenses of all types bend lightwaves to change your view. Dive deep into the world of optics and study how waves reflect and diffract and deepen your mathematical understanding of these phenomena by learning the specific equations that explain what you see.

Wave Optics in Physics - Chapter Summary

This chapter will take you on a fascinating journey through the complex world of wave optics. You will explore the complex principles and equations that explain how light reacts to various mirrors and lenses. In order to strengthen your understanding more deeply, each concept is broken into its own short lesson. Each lesson will provide you with examples, questions, and explanations for the specific optical actions discussed. Have fun watching optics in action and get ready to see the world in a whole new way.

By the end of the chapter, you will be ready to explain and calculate diffraction and reflection all around you. You should be able to:

  • Differentiate between plane and spherical mirrors
  • Model ray tracing and apply equations to mirror questions
  • Model and apply equations to lens questions
  • Explain and compare Malus's Law, Brewster's Law, and Huygen's Principle
  • Model interference patterns and equations to diffraction problems
  • Explain thin-film interference and fiber optics

Our physics experts are ready to guide you through your study of wave optics with an incredible series of short video lessons. Be sure to enhance your experience by using the self-assessment quizzes and transcripts to deepen your understanding. You can also make use of the Timeline feature in the video player to review the main ideas from each lesson. Track your progress on your dashboard and enjoy learning about the mathematics of optics!

13 Lessons in Chapter 20: Wave Optics in Physics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

1. 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.

Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images

2. Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a mirror is and use ray tracing diagrams, along with the law of reflection, to explain what you see when you look in a mirror. A short quiz will follow.

Using Equations to Answer Mirror Questions

3. Using Equations to Answer Mirror Questions

After watching this lesson, you will be able to answer questions on mirrors, stating whether an image is real or virtual, upright or inverted, and larger or smaller. A short quiz will follow.

Thin Lens Equation: Examples & Questions

4. Thin Lens Equation: Examples & Questions

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a lens is (both concave and convex), list uses of lenses in everyday life, and use the thin lens equation to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Using Equations to Answer Lens Questions

5. Using Equations to Answer Lens Questions

After watching this video, you should be able to use equations to answer lens questions, including figuring out whether the image produced by a lens is real or virtual, bigger or smaller, and upright or inverted. A short quiz will follow.

Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

6. 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

7. 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.

Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

Multiple-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

11. Multiple-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to describe the diffraction pattern produced by multiple slits, as well as how it differs from single-slits and double-slits. You will also be able to list examples of diffraction gratings in real life and solve problems to figure out the position of the maxima and minima produced when light in shined through a diffraction grating. A short quiz will follow.

How Thin Film Interference Works

12. 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.

Total Internal Reflection & Fiber Optic Cables

13. Total Internal Reflection & Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables can transmit light very quickly over large distances. How exactly do they work and what does this have to do with total internal reflection? In this lesson, learn the answers to these questions and more!

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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