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written by Wolfgang Christian
This applet displays ray diagrams for combinations of thin lenses, mirrors, apertures, and various light sources.  The user can place objects on the virtual optics bench, change their foci, and point light sources or direct a beam to see the resulting ray diagram.  The applet is also designed to be modified for special cases such as fiber optics.  The site contains instructions on how to modify the applet, as well as examples.  The site also contains a virtual lab exercise to accompany the applet and problems for students to solve by using the applet.

Please note that this resource requires Java.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Geometrical Optics
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Laboratory
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- application/java
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2006 Wolfgang Christian
Physlets are a registered trademark of Wolfgang Christian.
TPT Websights, mirror, ray diagram, thin lens
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 22, 2006 by Jason Garman
Record Updated:
August 19, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 1, 2006
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
W. Christian, (2006), WWW Document, (
W. Christian, Physlets Optics Applet (2006), <>.
APA Format
Christian, W. (2006, March 1). Physlets Optics Applet. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Christian, Wolfgang. Physlets Optics Applet. March 1, 2006. (accessed 22 June 2024).
MLA Format
Christian, Wolfgang. Physlets Optics Applet. 2006. 1 Mar. 2006. 22 June 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Wolfgang Christian", Title = {Physlets Optics Applet}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {22 June 2024}, Month = {March 1, 2006}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Wolfgang Christian %T Physlets Optics Applet %D March 1, 2006 %U %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Christian, Wolfgang %D March 1, 2006 %T Physlets Optics Applet %V 2024 %N 22 June 2024 %8 March 1, 2006 %9 application/java %U

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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