A ray is a straight line that originates at some location. Geometric optics is the branch of optics that deals with the ray aspect of light. All rays are not equal: Some are closer to the source of light, while others are farther away. The ones that are far away were never going to reach us in the first place, so they don't matter for what we can see.
The ones that are close enough to reach us must pass through the optical system of the eye. So these are the only rays that can contribute to an image on the retina. They do this by being bent (refracted) by the cornea and lens of the eye. The amount that they are bent depends on their angle relative to the normal to the surface at which they strike. If a ray bends too much it will go out of the eye; if it doesn't bend enough it won't make it to the retina.
Light travels in straight lines, but it does so at a finite speed. So by the time a distant-light ray reaches your eye, the ray that is closest to you has already passed through the optic nerve and reached the back of your brain. There it gets converted into an image that you see.
When light travels in a straight path, what is it called? The line is termed a "ray" in the assumption that light travels in a straight line in a material with a constant refractive index. A ray is the shortest distance between two points on a surface or within an object. When light travels in a straight path, it is said to travel in a "straight line."
If light does not travel in a straight line but rather bends around an object, it will do so multiple times until it reaches the opposite side. This is called "reflection." Light also can be bent if it passes through a lens or other transparent material with a different refractive index than air. It then will follow a curved path.
If light travels in a zigzag pattern, we call this "scattering." Scattering occurs when light encounters many small particles or areas with different refractive indices. These particles may be dust in the air or tiny bubbles in water. The light waves are scattered by these particles and spread out in random directions, making visual detection more difficult.
We use the term "straight line" even when describing optical paths that are not actually straight. For example, when light travels through glass, it follows a curved path because its index of refraction is greater than that of air.
Ray Ray A "ray" is the route that light takes as it travels. Thus, a ray is a line of propagation for light. " - Oxford Dictionary of Physics
The word "ray" is used in physics to describe the path that a particle such as an electron or a photon takes when it travels from one point to another without bending or reflecting. The term was introduced by Danish physicist Niels Bohr in his model of the atom; he called these paths "radiation patterns". Each type of radiation has its own unique pattern. In quantum mechanics, particles can either be described as waves or as dots, and each description applies only to certain types of particle. Electrons are described as waves when they are being detected by an electromagnetic sensor, but when they are being measured they appear as discrete objects, which is why we can see them even when they are traveling through air or other materials. Photons are always described as waves even when they are traveling through matter because photons have no mass and cannot be seen individually. When photons travel through matter they change direction sometimes but not always depending on the material they are travelling through. This is why light beams from lasers and other sources tend to spread out as they travel.
A light ray is an idealized depiction of light that is depicted as a straight line in physics (and optics). Light may be thought of more accurately as a wave having peaks and troughs. If you draw a line at a 90-degree angle to those peaks and troughs, you will receive a ray pointing in the direction of the energy flow. In reality, light rays are curved due to their interaction with matter; however, if we ignore this effect, we can use the idealized model of a ray.
In general, physics uses mathematical models to explain its observations. These models are useful because they allow scientists to make predictions about what will happen in situations not included in the original data set. For example, when studying light beams, it is useful to have a model that ignores all but the main beam of light so that one can study how lenses focus images or reflectors work without being affected by other objects in the scene.
An idealized model is a simplified version of something real. Scientists use idealized models because they are easier to understand and predict than the full-scale thing they represent. For example, an engineer might build a model of a bridge to help design a safer way to cross it. The model would include all the elements that could possibly cause damage to the bridge: traffic, weather, etc. Once the design is finished, the engineer builds a real bridge using this same plan.
People also use idealized models in science.
The quickest path between a source and a destination is always taken by light. A ray is a line traced perpendicular to the wavefronts from the source to the destination. Spherical wave fronts degenerate far from the source into a sequence of parallel lines travelling in the direction of the ray. As the distance from the source increases, the time it takes for the light to reach the destination will also increase.
A straight angle is a 180-degree angle in mathematics. It is referred to be "straight" because it looks to be a straight line. Angles are formed when two rays are linked end to end, according to the definition of an angle in mathematics. There are three types of angles: acute, obtuse, and right. An acute angle is one that is less than 90 degrees; for example, 30 degrees is an acute angle. An obtuse angle is one that is greater than 90 degrees; for example, 150 degrees is an obtuse angle. A right angle is one that forms a 90-degree angle with its adjacent side; for example, a corner. All corners are right angles, but not all right angles are corners. The word "angle" comes from the Greek antiks ginos, which means opposite direction or face. That is, an angle is the turning of one thing after another.
A light ray is a small beam of light that travels in a straight line. A light ray is an idealistic and hypothetical model of light that is used to better describe how light propagates. In reality, light behaves as a wave, not a ray.
In physics, the term "light ray" is often used to describe any type of linear electromagnetic radiation, including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet waves. However, the term is most commonly associated with rays originating from the Sun, such as the solar ray and lunar ray, which are the pathways through which Earth's atmosphere refracts sunlight and radio signals from space vehicles, respectively.
Solar rays were first described by Aristotle and Theophrastus and later rediscovered by Huygens and Newton. They are the paths that sunlight takes through the atmosphere to reach the ground. Solar rays are responsible for all types of weather phenomena, ranging from gentle raindrops to tornadoes and hurricanes.
Lunar rays are similar to solar rays but instead reflect off of the surface of the Moon before reaching Earth's atmosphere. Therefore, they are also responsible for all types of meteorological events, excepting direct hits from large meteors or asteroids.
Radio waves are also types of electromagnetic radiation and thus qualify as light rays.