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A light wave is an electromagnetic wave, and the science of studying the wave properties of light is called wave optics. When the applications involve only spatial scales much larger than the light wavelength, the light wave can be approximately described by geometrical rays with good accuracy. When the applications involve spatial scales not much larger than the light wavelength, light must be treated as a wave. Such applications include light passing through a small opening, light being focused to a micron-size spot, and anything involving interference and diffraction.
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