 # What is the distinction between a "ray" and a "wave" in optics? Taliyah Reyes 2022-08-12 Answered
What is the distinction between a "ray" and a "wave" in optics?
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Diffraction occurs when the wavelength and dimension of aperture or slit through which it is passing becomes comparable. When the dimension of the respective system is much larger than the wave length we can neglect the wave properties and consider it to be a ray.Depending on this two different cases we use the terms "geometrical optics" or "physical optics".
"geometrical optics" is where light can be considered to be a ray and it is geometric because the path that it follows can be obtained by using geometric diagram.Where as "physical optics" is where the diffraction and interference becomes important and to describe these phenomenon wave nature of light must be considered.

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