Optics is the study of light's behavior and properties when it interacts with matter. There are three types of light, visible, ultraviolet and infrared light. Studying light is helpful because light is an electromagnetic wave. Therefore, studying light also helps physicists understand more about electromagnetic radiation which is involved in X-rays, radio waves and microwaves.
Optics is divided into two main fields of study: geometrical optics and physical optics. Geometrical optics is when light is considered to travel in a straight light. The light can be refracted by a medium to travel in a different direction. Physical optics is when light is considered to be an electromagnetic wave. Each field is useful when studying different properties.
Optics is a major area of research in physics and engineering. Optical physics and engineering research is generally in the fields of electromagnetic or quantum properties of light. Lasers, visual systems and cameras are just a few examples of everyday technologies that use optical technology. Since the invention of lasers in 1960, lasers have become a multi-billion dollar industry with applications of supermarket barcode scanners, to fibre-optic communications and laser eye surgery. Optics has also help aid in the research of atmospheric properties and optical phenomena’s such as the blue sky. This phenomenon occurs due to Rayleigh scattering which redirects higher frequency sunlight back into the field of view.