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Examples of refraction

  1. Jul 8, 2003 #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 :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2003 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    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?
     
  4. Jul 8, 2003 #3
    so is one example when u put a pencil in a glass of water and it bends???? is that one?
     
  5. Jul 8, 2003 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    Yes, that would be a good example. Now, here's the next question:

    Why is the refraction abrupt?
     
  6. Jul 8, 2003 #5
    ok so im 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? [?]
     
  7. Jul 8, 2003 #6

    Tom Mattson

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    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).

    Whoa! You're talking about reflection here. That is not the same as refraction.
     
  8. Jul 8, 2003 #7
    thanks alot of making my mind straight now..

    ...and how i got refraction and relection confused

    hehe thanks..
     
  9. Jul 8, 2003 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    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: )
     
  10. Jul 8, 2003 #9
    tell you the truth i really have no idea...

    thats why im in summer school...

    but let me think about it..
     
  11. Jul 8, 2003 #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?
     
  12. Jul 8, 2003 #11

    Tom Mattson

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    No, that's not it.

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

    So...

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

    Now, what do you think makes for gradual refraction.
     
  13. Mar 20, 2010 #12
    Because the pencil is moving from a dense medium to a less dense medium. Correct?
     
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