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                   brief explanation on wave optics

4 years ago


Answers : (1)

                                        Electron microscopes can make images of individual atoms, but why will a visible-light microscope never be able to? Stereo speakers create the illusion of music that comes from a band arranged in your living room, but why doesn't the stereo illusion work with bass notes? Why are computer chip manufacturers investing billions of dollars in equipment to etch chips with x-rays instead of visible light?

The answers to all of these questions have to do with the subject of wave optics. So far this book has discussed the interaction of light waves with matter, and its practical applications to optical devices like mirrors, but we have used the ray model of light almost exclusively. Hardly ever have we explicitly made use of the fact that light is an electromagnetic wave. We were able to get away with the simple ray model because the chunks of matter we were discussing, such as lenses and mirrors, were thousands of times larger than a wavelength of light.

Huygens' principle

Huygens considered light to be a wave. He envisioned a wave crest advancing by imagining each point along the wave crest to be source point for small, circular, expanding wavelets, which expand with the speed of the wave. The surface tangent to these wavelets determines the contour of the advancing wave.
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