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Light and Optics

calculated rainbow spectra

The subject of optics deals with the interaction of light with matter. Our earliest ideas about light helped us understand how we see things and how lenses and mirrors work. This is covered by geometric optics and deals with light as rays which undergoes reflection and refraction to produce either real or virtual images. Physical optics deals with light in terms of waves and how this produces interference, diffraction, polarisation, colour, etc.