Geometric optics

From Glossary of Meteorology

geometric optics

The application of ray tracing to explain scattering and refractive effects by particles that are very large compared with the wavelength of the radiation.

Geometric optics provides useful explanations for atmospheric features such as rainbows, halos, and many other ice crystal optical displays.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.