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A lens system.

  1. Apr 18, 2005 #1
    If you could set up a system of lenses so that once a steady light stream enters the system, it will be refracted within the same system permanently, what will happen to the photons?

    Would it take an infinite number of lenses to get the exact refraction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2005 #2


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    Are you sure the refracted light retains its photon composition? In other words, is it the same photon coming out of the lens that went into the lens?
  4. Apr 19, 2005 #3
    I'm asking, in all honesty, I dont know anything about optics.
  5. Apr 19, 2005 #4


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    I think the answer to this question is no. Light is bent in a lens by a complex interaction of photons with the atoms in the medium. The emerging light is the result of energy absorption and emission by those atoms.
  6. Apr 19, 2005 #5
    But that light contains the same properties as the incident photon that hit the lens right? The same color is what I mean.

    What I'm getting at is that you could preserve an image through a system of lenses for an infinite amount of time by having the image go through a seemingly infinite number of lenses, then can be captured when needed.
  7. Apr 19, 2005 #6
    Wait a minute. Isn't refraction the separation of the different wavelengths of the photons in light into similar groups: ROYGBV? Wouldn't that mean that the photon that passed through the lens would be the same as before it went in; the only difference would be that it would be grouped with other photons of the same or similar wavelengths?
  8. Apr 19, 2005 #7
    I would agree with your reasoning that even if you passed a photon through an infinte number of lenses it with still retain the same colour and such. If this were not true then the question: Can a photon be refracted into other segements?: would be raised. Since this is not the case, you're right; the image would be trapted.
  9. Apr 19, 2005 #8
    This is called total internal reflection, and is the physical principle behind Fiber Optic technology.
  10. Apr 19, 2005 #9
    Ok, now I'm confused. Crosson could you help connect the dots a little? Please? :redface:
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