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Homework Help: Cartesian Oval

  1. Mar 22, 2010 #1

    fluidistic

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    Gold Member

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    See the picture for the situation of the problem.
    I'm told that any ray starting from S and getting through the "Cartesian Oval" reach point P.
    I must show that the equation of the interface curve is [tex]l_0n_1+l_i n_2=K[/tex] where K is a constant.
    So far I've showed that [tex]l_0=\sqrt {x^2+y^2}[/tex] and [tex]l_i=\sqrt {y^2+(s_0 + s_i -x)^2}[/tex]. But I remain stuck as how to proceed further.
    Any idea is greatly appreciated.

    2. Relevant equations
    Snell's law? I've tried something with it but didn't reach anything.
    Maybe Fermat's principle?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    See above.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2010 #2

    rl.bhat

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    Homework Helper

    Re: Optics

    Since the points S and P are fixed, the total time taken by the light to travel from S to P must be constant.
    So t1 = l1/v1 and t2 = l2/v2
    Now v1 = C/n1 and v2 = C/n2, where C is the velocity of the light in vacuum.
    Hence find t = t1 + t2 = ...........?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  4. Mar 23, 2010 #3

    fluidistic

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    Gold Member

    Re: Optics

    Thank you so much! Really bright and not complicated. Yet I totally missed it.
    Problem solved!
     
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