Why Would Anyone Go to College to Study Ray Optics?
When you hear the word optics you most likely think of things like eyeglasses, mirrors or binoculars. Ray optics does relate to the development of lenses like those used in glasses or binoculars, but the study of ray optics is actually part of a much larger field of physics that is part of the study and specialization of optical sciences.
It is vital for there to be a stream of people willing to study in these areas so that the world can benefit from their knowledge. These people can help to create and design new technologies to help the world of medicine through things like new and more powerful magnifying devices or helping new military applications like new and better lenses for spying devices such as rifle scope lenses or binocular lenses.
What is Ray Optics?
Ray optics is defined as the study of the way that light interacts with matter. The field of optics can also be put into three subfields: geometrical, physical; and quantum. Geometrical is the study of light as rays, while physical is the study of light as waves and quantum is the study of light as particles.
Optics itself is a branch of physics that includes the manner in which light behaves, as well as the building of different kinds of instruments that use light or can detect light. It is also related to the way that visible, ultraviolet and infrared light works.
What kind of jobs would ray optics relate to?
Someone studying ray optics could possibly work in an area that helps design new technologies in areas concerning things like x-rays, microwaves, lenses, and other devices related to these areas. They may be involved in the research and development of new technologies involving light rays, refractions, etc.
Ray optics and the field of optical science is also relevant to the fields of astronomy (telescopes, etc), engineering (various products), photography (camera lenses), ophthalmology and optometry (eyeglass lenses). Those studying it in college may well be those who design things like new kinds of mirrors, fiber optics, medical applications like microscopes, prisms, and other items that use light in some way or fashion to work.
New discoveries in Ray Optics
Scientific research is ongoing in the field of ray optics and finding new applications does happen. Such was the case when researchers at the Institute Laue Langevin in Illinois found that light formed by gamma rays could be used to kill cancer cells. They found that if the rays were bent and precisely focused by using special microscopes that it could be used to both diagnose the presence of cancer cells and treat the condition. Experiments are now going on to test and study this development, which helps to show that the study of ray optics is very useful in discovering new medical treatments and a possible cure for cancer.
There have also been many developments in the world of x-ray technology for both medicine and in astronomy that relate to ray optics study. These include more powerful x-ray technologies for use for seeing inside the human body, as well as for sending in to space in the form of a special x-ray telescope that low energy x-rays can be used to study certain phenomenon in space better than with regular telescope usage.
All in all, the study of ray optics is a worthy field of study that can result in a graduate being capable of working in several areas of science that can help create new technologies and devices to better our world and how we live in it.