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ERIC Number: EJ817712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
The Problem of Focusing and Real Images
Mihas, Pavlos
European Journal of Physics, v29 n3 p539-553 May 2008
A historical discussion of the theories which deal with the formation of real images in mirrors and lenses is presented in this paper. Speculations on mirrors appeared as early as Plato. Euclid's, Hero's and Ptolemy's approaches to visual rays are described. The theory on burning mirrors starts with Diocles and later was continued by the Arabs. Al Haytham extensively studied the reflection of light rays on concave mirrors. Huygens tried to find a shorter way to do the calculations. With lenses Kepler gave a new way of finding the position of images by using approximations. Huygens also gave a solution for the shape of a "perfect" lens. Huygens' principle on waves can be combined with Fermat's principle to explain the formation of images. These theories can be used in education to help students better understand the formation of images, the propagation of waves and the properties of lenses. (Contains 20 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A