The term *ray tracing* refers to any algorithm that follows beams of light to determine with which objects they interact in the world. Applications include light map generation, visibility determination, collision detection, and line-of-sight testing. This chapter describes how the points of intersection where a ray strikes an object can be found and how to alter the path of a ray when it strikes a reflective or refractive surface.

The problem of finding the points at which a line defined by the equation

**Equation 6.1. **

intersects a surface generally requires finding the roots of a degree *n* polynomial in *t*. For planar ...

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