Date of Award

Spring 1934

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Mathematics

Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to make a compilation of the various ways of finding the equation to the caustic by the reflexion and refraction of rays. The paper contains little or nothing that can be considered new in principle as the subject of caustics is not an unfamiliar one. It originated with Huyghens and Tschirnhausen about 1678, and reached such generality and clarity through the work of Gergonne, Malus, Quetelet, and others, that nothing more remains to be said on the subject. The paper contains in particular researches relating to the caustic by reflexion of a circle for rays proceeding from a point, the caustic by refraction of a circle for parallel rays, the caustic by refraction of a circle for rays proceeding from a point, and the geometrical method of constructing caustics. Throughout this thesis, we strive to give a detailed development of each case in question so that one can follow it easily.

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