Photonics: Ray Reflection Question

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of maximum time and points of inflection in relation to mirrors and light rays. The reasoning for part A is explained, while part B is deemed unclear due to the lack of a mathematically defined shape for the mirror.
  • #1
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The question can be found at this link: http://gyazo.com/ee82873af32d76898ab1c5b9f058a2eb

My reasoning for part A follows as such: Because the radius of curvature is smaller in the second mirror than in the initial elliptical mirror, every point on the second mirror (other than the tangent point) is now closer to A and B. Thus, any light ray originating from A or B and heading towards any of these points will reach the second mirror in less time than in the case of the elliptical mirror. Thus, the tangent point must be the point of maximum time since it is now the furthest point on the second mirror from either A or B. However, I am not really sure about this answer.

As far as part B, I can't seem to wrap my head around it. I can't quite figure out what the question means when it asks about ray paths exhibiting a point of inflection. How can rays exhibit a point of inflection?
 
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  • #2
I think you reasoning is good and I also agree part B is muddled. The shape of the mirror is not mathematically defined, to begin with. Are those semicircles or ?
 
  • #3
Thanks for the reply. They are ellipses.
 

1. What is photonics?

Photonics is the branch of science and technology that deals with the study and manipulation of photons, which are particles of light. It involves the use of lasers, fiber optics, and other advanced technologies to generate, transmit, and detect light for various applications.

2. How does ray reflection work in photonics?

Ray reflection in photonics refers to the phenomenon of light bouncing off a surface at a specific angle, following the law of reflection. This allows for the manipulation of light beams, such as in the creation of mirrors and lenses, and is essential for various applications in photonics.

3. What is the difference between specular and diffuse reflection?

Specular reflection refers to the reflection of light off a smooth surface, resulting in a clear and focused image. On the other hand, diffuse reflection occurs when light reflects off a rough or uneven surface, scattering the light in different directions and creating a blurred image.

4. How is ray reflection used in practical applications of photonics?

Ray reflection is used in a wide range of practical applications in photonics, including telecommunications, laser technology, optical computing, and medical imaging. It allows for the manipulation and control of light, which is crucial for these technologies to function properly.

5. What are the challenges and limitations of ray reflection in photonics?

While ray reflection is a useful tool in photonics, it also has its challenges and limitations. These include the loss of light due to absorption or scattering, as well as the difficulty of achieving perfect reflections in real-world scenarios. Additionally, the complexity of designing and fabricating precise optical components for ray reflection can also be a limitation.

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