Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

caustic curve




caustics
The envelope of rays of light reflected (or refracted) by a given curve from a given point source of light. A catacaustic results from reflection, a diacaustic from refraction.

Among the caustic curves of a circle are limaçon, if the light source is nearby, a nephroid, if the source if at infinity, and a cardioid, if the source is on the circle.


Related category

   • PLANE CURVES