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GEOMETRICAL OPTICS.

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PREFACE.

This is, I imagine, the first time that any attempt has been made to adapt the subject of geometrical optics to the reading of the higher classes in our good schools. That this should be so is the more a matter for remark, since the subject would appear to be peculiarly fitted for such an adaptation. The great simplicity of its primary laws, in the first place, and the very small amount of analysis which, generally speaking, they involve, render the commencement not so unattractive as that of many subjects which are usually taken as the beginning of the second course of mathematical reading : whilst the new ideas and trains of thought which are introduced at every stage appear to me to be at once interesting and valuable. The conception of a virtual image, to take an early instance, is probably an entirely new one to the reader's mind. So also is the idea of a caustic curve, and the subject abounds with similar new considerations.

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