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The bending of a light ray depends only on the angle it hits the lens, and not on the thickness of the glass. This means thick lenses can be made thinner, as shown here.  This is called a Fresnel lens, and is used to make magnifying sheets as well as in lighthouses. [more] [video] [code]

The bending of a light ray depends only on the angle it hits the lens, and not on the thickness of the glass. This means thick lenses can be made thinner, as shown here.  This is called a Fresnel lens, and is used to make magnifying sheets as well as in lighthouses. [more] [video] [code]

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    Actually the thickness of the dielectric does matter. It doesn’t matter in this case because the light is traveling at a...
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Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

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