Light travels into a camera lens and creates a small upside down image on the inside of the camera. Which of the following best describes why the lens flips and decreases the size and the image?

Light is refracted by the lens

Light is absorbed by the lens

Light is reflected by the lens

Light is transmitted by the lens

Expert Answers

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The answer is choice 1: Light is refracted by the lens.

Refraction is the bending of the light which happens when the light enters a medium with the different electromagnetic properties than the original medium of propagation. For example, in the glass, light propagates more slowly than in the air, and the ray of light will change direction when it enters glass. It will also change direction again when it emerges from the glass into air.

The camera lens described in the problem is the converging lens. The converging lens is made in a way so that the rays of light falling on one side of the lens will bend towards the central axis of the lens, or converge. The rays of light coming from far away are considered parallel to the central axis of the lens and they will converge to a point on the other side called a focal point of the lens. Since the light rays falling on the object change their direction due to refraction when they come out of the lens, the image is different in size and orientation than the object.

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