Refraction of light at air/water interface

In summary, an insect hovering above a pond will appear at the same height to a fish directly below it. This is because the fish is able to deduce the distance to the insect by tracing the light rays from the insect back to its source, without having to cross its eyes.
  • #1
komal
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an insect hovers in a fixed position above the still water of a pond. draw a diagram to show approximately where it appears to be to a fish vertically below it.

Okay I am confused between two things ... is it going to appear at a lower height than original or will be at the same height since the fish is vertically below it so I've studied that a light ray entering a medium at right angles passes straight through it and does not bend !
 
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  • #2
help !
 
  • #3
komal said:
help !

The way people and most animals with two eyes deduce the distance to an object (depth perception) is by tracing the light from an object back to a source. If the object is close, you have to cross your eyes to do this. If it is very far away, almost no crossing is needed. Assume your fish has two eyes separated by some distance and figure out the light path from the insect to each eye, then trace those rays straight back to the point from which they appear to originate.
 

What is refraction of light at an air/water interface?

Refraction of light at an air/water interface is the bending of light as it passes from one medium (air) to another (water) due to the difference in their optical densities. This causes the speed of light to change, resulting in a change in direction.

What causes refraction of light at an air/water interface?

Refraction of light at an air/water interface is caused by the change in speed of light as it enters a new medium. Light travels at a slower speed in water compared to air, causing it to bend towards the normal (the imaginary line perpendicular to the interface).

What is the relationship between the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction?

The angle of incidence and the angle of refraction are related by Snell's Law, which states that the ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction is equal to the ratio of the speeds of light in the two media.

How does the refractive index of water affect the refraction of light at an air/water interface?

The refractive index of water, which is a measure of how much light bends when passing through it, plays a significant role in the refraction of light at an air/water interface. A higher refractive index means that light will bend more as it enters and exits water, resulting in a larger angle of refraction.

What are some real-world applications of refraction of light at an air/water interface?

Refraction of light at an air/water interface is used in various applications, such as in the design of lenses for eyeglasses and cameras, the creation of optical illusions, and the underwater visibility of objects. It is also used in the study of ocean currents and the behavior of light in underwater environments.

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