Refraction of light

  • #1
Hello! so this is for a physics photo contest. i have to do a little write up and i'd really like for my information to be accurate.

http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u43/ninjanamine/115-5.jpg?t=1304830133

the physics part is the orange tree in the water droplet (refraction of light).... but i'm sorta confused as to whether light is traveling from air to water or if its traveling from water to air. i asked my teacher and he said both and that there are two refractions, but sometimes his information is a little.... off. i guess i just want to get this confirmed.

if someone could please help me, that would reallly be appreciated!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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The light comes from the sun, reflects off the orange tree, enters the droplet (air/water interface 1) and refracts. The light travels through the droplet and reaches the other side of the droplet (air/water interface number 2) and refracts again.

Refraction happens when light passes through the interface of two mediums.
 
  • #3
ehild
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The photo is really very nice! That water droplet acts as a thick lens, the rays coming from a remote orange tree are refracted twice as frozenquy explained, and produce a picture of the tree where they intersect. You see the picture in the droplet.

ehild
 

Attachments

  • #4
ahhh thank you guys so much!!! :)
 
  • #5
Would this be an okay explanation? I just don't want to say anything wrong :P

The orange in this photo is covered with water drops. Upon closer inspection, we can see that the water drops on the edge of the orange shows a bent image of the tree from which it is growing on. This phenomena is an example of refraction. In refraction, a wave front is bent as it passes through two different mediums that require a change in velocity. In this case, the wave front is light. Light is being bent as it changes from two mediums-air and water. Because the speed of light in water is less than the speed of light in air, the ray is bent away from the normal, as shown through the tree’s distorted shape. Another refraction is taking place in a similar occurrence; however, instead of light traveling from water to air, light travels from air to water. In both refractions, the measure of light’s speed can be described in terms of refractive indices. Water has a greater refractive index than air and thus slows the speed that the light travels in it. The angle of refraction changes according to the refractive index of the two mediums. Consequently, a light ray that passes from water to air is refracted away from the normal and from air to water, towards the normal. Snell’s law mathematically portrays this. In addition to refraction, the shape of the water droplet bends the shape of the tree in that it determines where the normal will be on the surface of the droplet.
 
  • #6
ehild
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It is almost all right. Do not stress that "bent image". Refraction itself does not cause distortion of the image. If you look through a thin lens like a magnifying glass the image is not bent. The distortion is caused by the shape of the droplet: it is not a thin lens. It is thick and irregular in shape. You get similar distorted image in a curved mirror.
So you get a small picture of the tree, similar the one produced by a magnifying glass of a remote object, but this picture is distorted. All the other things you wrote about refraction is about all right. Remove the blue text and use the red text instead.

"The orange in this photo is covered with water drops. Upon closer inspection, we can see that the water drops on the edge of the orange shows a bent minimised image of the tree from which it is growing on." ...

" Because the speed of light in water is less than the speed of light in air, the ray is bent away to the normal, as shown through the tree’s distorted shape. "

ehild
 
  • #7
Hmmmm okay. Thanks sooooo much!! :) Seriously, you've made my life so nice
 

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