Math and Arithmetic

Why light rays move straight through optical centre of lens?

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Wiki User
2009-07-16 03:20:30

Light beams are bent when they go through a material at an

angle. If the direction of travel of the light beam is exactly

perpendicular or 90° from the plane of the surface, than the light

is not bent. A lens is usually curved on one side. However, exactly

in the middle, the surface of the glass is parallel to the flat

surface on the other side. So if light enters through the middle,

the surface right in the middle will be perpendicular to the path

of the light beam. (This works the same for lenses curved on both

sides, as in the middle of both sides, the glass surface will be

parallel to the opposite side). See this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Lens2.svg If the dashed line in

the diagram is the light beam, you can see that where is crosses

the lenses, the angle is always 90°. If the dashed line were moved

up or down on the page however, the angle wouldn't be 90° anymore,

and the light would be bent as it passed through the lens.

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