1.I.2D

Fermat's principle of optics states that the path of a light ray connecting two points will be such that the travel time $t$ is a minimum. If the speed of light varies continuously in a medium and is a function $c(y)$ of the distance from the boundary $y=0$, show that the path of a light ray is given by the solution to

$c(y) y^{\prime \prime}+c^{\prime}(y)\left(1+y^{\prime 2}\right)=0$

where $y^{\prime}=\frac{d y}{d x}$, etc. Show that the path of a light ray in a medium where the speed of light $c$ is a constant is a straight line. Also find the path from $(0,0)$ to $(1,0)$ if $c(y)=y$, and sketch it.

*Typos? Please submit corrections to this page on GitHub.*