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Unit: Geometric optics

In these videos and articles you'll learn how to determine the angle of reflected light and the definition of specular and diffuse reflection. You'll also learn how to use Snell's law to determine the angle of a refracted light ray. Example problems dealing with the refraction of light rays will be solved. The topics of total internal reflection, critical angle, and dispersion will also be discussed.
In these videos and articles you'll learn how flat and curved/parabolic mirrors create images. The definitions of real and virtual images will be discussed. You'll also learn how to use the mirror equation to determine the image distance, magnification, image height, and object height when dealing with curved mirrors. The sign convention for positive and negative image distance, object distance, and focal length will be discussed.

About this unit

Light waves can be bent and reflected to form new and sometimes altered images. Understanding how light rays can be manipulated allows us to create better contact lenses, fiber optic cables, and high powered telescopes.
AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which has not reviewed this resource.