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Photonics Dictionary

  • geometric optics

A field of physics that deals with light as if it truly were composed of rays diverging in various directions from the source and abruptly bent by refraction or turned by reflection into paths determined by familiar laws. The concept that light travels in a straight line is the basis of geometric optics, which neglects diffraction and acknowledges the wave theory of light only insofar as the wavelengths affect the refractive index.
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