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Difference between Optical and Geometrical length?

  1. Oct 1, 2013 #1
    Difference between Optical and Geometrical length!?

    I'm having this question since 2 times now in the theoretical part of the exam & still I couldn't find anything about it in the book neither in google.
    Can anyone who's more experienced in Optical Physics give me the answer to this plz !?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2013 #2

    UltrafastPED

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    Optical path length depends upon the index of refraction encountered; it is the same as geometrical length when the index of refraction is everywhere equal to 1.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_path_length

    Optical path length is often used as the difference between two optical paths: then the difference in optical path length - this is used to calculate the phase shift between coherent light sources travelling the two paths, as in an interferometer.
     
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