# RAY OPTICS

Jun 17th, 2015
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A light ray is a line or curve that is perpendicular to the light's wavefronts (and is therefore collinear with the wave vector). Light rays bend at the interface between two dissimilar media and may be curved in a medium in which the refractive index changes. Geometric optics describes how rays propagate through an optical system.

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TUMBLING RING ILLUSIONThis one comes from an old book of tricks for entertaining. It appeared in Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" column in the 1950s. An even number of rings are interlinked as shown in the diagrams. I first used split key rings which can be found in several sizes in craft shops and key shops. If you hold the top ring (A), test the rings just below by trying to lift one of the two rings below it. One of them can be lifted and cause the entire half-chain below to lift with it. Hang onto that one ("B" in the diagram) and let go the other one. You may be rewarded by a sequential falling action which looks to the audience like the top ring fell all the way to the bottom. Actually, the other side of the chain untwists, giving an illusion of a falling ring. If this doesn't happen, you have grasped the second ring on the wrong side. Try it the other way.Once you get the hang of it you can keep a tumbling action going by transfering your hold from the top ring to the next after each fall, timing your action to the period of fall. At any step, there are four places you can grasp rings below, three of them are wrong. Suppose grasping the left ring near you works. Then the next time grasp the right ring at the point farthest from you and keep alternating this action.I have made larger sets using plastic rings from craft stores, the kind that can be opened at a locking socket, linked and then re-locked. I have also made a set using craft-store 7 inch steel ri

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