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On the reflection point where light reflects to a known destination on quadratic surfaces

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Abstract

We address the problem of determining the reflection point on a specular surface where a light ray that travels from a source to a target is reflected. The specular surfaces considered are those expressed by a quadratic equation. So far, there is no closed form explicit equation for the general solution of this determination of the reflection point, and the usual approach is to use the Snell law or the Fermat principle whose equations are derived in multidimensional nonlinear minimizations. We prove in this Letter that one can impose a set of three restrictions to the reflection point that can impose a set of three restrictions that culminates in a very elegant formalism of searching the reflection point in a unidimensional curve in space. This curve is the intersection of two quadratic equations. Some applications of this framework are also discussed.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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