Examples of refraction

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In summary, the conversation discusses examples of refraction, with one being abrupt (such as light passing from air to water and bending) and the other being gradual (such as light passing through different temperatures and changing direction gradually). The conversation also highlights the importance of understanding the cause of refraction, which is the change of medium, and discusses the difference between refraction and reflection.
  • #1


examples of refraction being abrupt and another that is gradual.

been thinking and nothing have popped in my mind?

easy examples are ok as long as i get it :)
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  • #2
Hi Yakabod,

I've noticed that both of the threads you posted here contain questions not on problems or concepts, but on research questions (in other words, the question is looking for straightforward factual answers, not reasoning or problem solving). That poses a bit of a problem here, because we have a policy: We don't do your homework for you. :smile: But, to answer your question is to give you the whole thing.

Instead of simply telling you the answer, I am going to ask you a couple of questions that will lead to the answer.

Here's the first one:

What have you studied that is an example of abrupt refraction? In other words, what kind of setup involves an instantaneous change of direction of a beam of light?
  • #3
so is one example when u put a pencil in a glass of water and it bends? is that one?
  • #4
Yes, that would be a good example. Now, here's the next question:

Why is the refraction abrupt?
  • #5
ok so I am thinking that exmaple i said was an example of gradual? but is this s good example for abrupt..

when also light passes a concave mirror or glass and it bends in a diffrent direction? [?]
  • #6
Originally posted by yakabod
ok so I am thinking that exmaple i said was an example of gradual? but is this s good example for abrupt..

It most definitely is not gradual.

You see the pencil in air pointing in one direction, and then suddenly you see the pencil pointing in another direction. This is because the light refracted abruptly.

Now, my question is, Why is it abrupt?

To answer that, you have to think about the cause of refraction: Passing from a medium with one index of refraction (in this case, air) to a medium with a different index of refraction (in this case, water).

when also light passes a concave mirror or glass and it bends in a diffrent direction? [?]

Whoa! You're talking about reflection here. That is not the same as refraction.
  • #7
thanks a lot of making my mind straight now..

...and how i got refraction and relection confused

hehe thanks..
  • #8
OK, so now back to The Inquistion. Muhahahaha!

Why is the refraction abrupt when the light passes from the air to the water? (This is an easy one, so don't think too hard :wink: )
  • #9
tell you the truth i really have no idea...

thats why I am in summer school...

but let me think about it..
  • #10
are the waves bending because the vary of temperature?

cool vs warm air the waves travel upwards

warm vs cold air the waves travel downwards

is that it?
  • #11
No, that's not it.

Like I said before, think about what causes refraction. It is caused by passing from one medium to another.


The refraction is abrupt because the change of medium is abrupt.

Now, what do you think makes for gradual refraction.
  • #12
Because the pencil is moving from a dense medium to a less dense medium. Correct?

What is refraction?

Refraction is the bending of light as it passes through one medium to another, such as from air to water.

What are some examples of refraction?

Some common examples of refraction include a pencil appearing bent when placed in a glass of water, the rainbow effect seen when sunlight passes through a prism, and the magnifying effect of a lens.

How does refraction affect vision?

Refraction plays a crucial role in vision, as it allows light to be focused by the cornea and lens onto the retina, creating clear images. Any abnormalities in the shape or structure of the eye's refractive components can result in vision problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Can refraction be controlled or manipulated?

Yes, refraction can be controlled and manipulated through the use of lenses, prisms, and other optical devices. This allows for correction of vision problems, as well as the creation of various optical illusions and effects.

How is refraction related to the speed of light?

The speed of light changes as it passes through different mediums due to refraction. This change in speed is what causes light to bend when passing from one medium to another. The speed of light in a vacuum is the fastest at approximately 299,792,458 meters per second.

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