Difference between Optical and Geometrical length?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

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 !?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #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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