Geometric optics is the study of the paths of light rays. This geometric optics word search contains glossary terms associated with geometric optics.
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Geometric Optics Glossary Terms
Here are quick definitions of the terms used in the Geometric Optics word search.
Aberration: Any deviation from the ideal path of a light ray through an optical system causing an unfocused image.
Aperture: An opening that allows a light beam to enter an optical system.
Beam: A collection of light rays into a shaft of light.
Concave: A surface or lens which is thicker at the edges than the middle. Concave lenses cause light rays to diverge from the central axis and produce virtual images. Concave mirrors cause parallel rays to converge towards the central axis of the mirror and produce both real and virtual images.
Converging: Converging rays refers to the bending of light rays towards each other.
Convex: A surface or lens which is thinner at the edges than the middle. Concave lenses cause light rays to converge towards the central axis and produce both real and virtual images. Concave mirrors cause parallel rays to converge away from the central axis of the mirror and produce virtual images.
Critical Angle: The angle of incidence in Snell’s Law that produces a 90º angle of refraction in the second medium.
Diopter: a measure of the refractive power of a lens or mirror equal to the reciprocal of the focal length.
Dispersion: The process where a beam of light made up of different wavelengths is split by different amounts in a prism or diffraction grating.
Diverging: Diverging rays refers to the bending of light rays away from each other.
Erect Image: An image from an optical system with the same spatial orientation as the object.
Focal Length: The distance from the center of a lens or mirror to the point of focus.
Focal Plane: A plane perpendicular to the axis of a lens or mirror and passes through the focal point.
Focal Point: The point where incident parallel rays of light converge after passing through a lens or reflected by a mirror.
Focus: Another term for Focal Point.
Image Plane: A plane perpendicular to the axis of a lens or mirror which passes through the image point.
Inverted Image: An image where the image is inverted spatially from the object.
Lens: An optical device that converges or diverges light which passes through it.
Magnification: An increase or decrease in the size of a focused image produced by an optical system.
Meniscus: A lens with one concave side and one convex side.
Mirror: An optical device that converges or diverges light reflected from its surface.
Object: Figure viewed or imaged by an optical system.
Prism: An optical device which refracts light with straight edges not parallel to each other.
Real Image: An image formed where the light rays actually cross. Real images can be projected onto a screen.
Reflection: The change in direction of a light ray by a surface.
Refraction: The change in direction of a light ray by the interface of one medium and another.
Snell’s Law: A law relating the angle of refraction of a light ray as it passes from one medium to another and the medium’s index of refraction. This relationship is given by the formula:
n1sinθ1 = n2sinθ2
n1 is the index of refraction of the first medium
θ1 is the incident angle of the light ray measured from the vertical of the surface.
n2 is the index of refraction of the second medium
θ2 is the refracted angle of the light ray measured from the vertical of the surface.
Virtual Image: An image where the light rays appear to cross but cannot be projected on the screen.