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ERIC Number: EJ1120829
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Virtual Ray Tracing as a Conceptual Tool for Image Formation in Mirrors and Lenses
Heikkinen, Lasse; Savinainen, Antti; Saarelainen, Markku
Physics Teacher, v54 n9 p538-540 Dec 2016
The ray tracing method is widely used in teaching geometrical optics at the upper secondary and university levels. However, using simple and straightforward examples may lead to a situation in which students use the model of ray tracing too narrowly. Previous studies show that students seem to use the ray tracing method too concretely instead of as a conceptual model. This suggests that introductory physics students need to understand the nature of the ray model more profoundly. In this paper, we show how a "virtual" ray tracing model can be used as a tool for image formation in more complex and unconventional cases. We believe that this tool has potential in helping students to better appreciate the nature of the ray model.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A