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Homework Help: Dispersion/total internal reflection

  1. Dec 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Consider a common mirage formed by superheated air just above a roadway. A truck driver whose eyes are 2.00 m above the road, where n=1.0003 looks forward. She has the illusion of seeing a patch of water ahead on the road, where her line of sight makes an angle of 1.20 degrees below the horizontal. Find the index of refraction of the air just above the road surface. (Hint: Treat this as a problem one involving total internal reflection)


    2. Relevant equations

    [tex]\Theta[/tex]c=sin-1(n1/n2)

    n1sin[tex]\Theta[/tex]1=n2sin[tex]\Theta[/tex]2


    3. The attempt at a solution

    So since the textbook said to treat it as a problem with total internal reflection, i figured that I would solve for [tex]\Theta[/tex]c and so I did

    [tex]\Theta[/tex]c=sin-1(n1/n2)
    [tex]\Theta[/tex]c=sin-1(1/1.0003)
    [tex]\Theta[/tex]c= 88.6

    and I just have absolutely no idea what to do from here.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2009 #2

    rl.bhat

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    Homework Helper

    n1*sin(theta 1) = n2*sin(theta 2)
    In the problem n1, theta 1 and theta 2 is known. Find n2.
     
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