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Underwater Lightbulb Optical Illusion - Reflection/Refraction of Light

  1. Nov 22, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    "Provide a true explanation for what you see as you look at a lightbulb underwater"

    (See the attached Image)

    What you see:
    Out of water -> white opaque light bulb
    Underwater -> clear outside, opaque white inside


    2. Relevant equations

    N/A

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think this has something to do with refraction of light and the index of refraction of the coating of the lightbulb.

    Thanks for you help!
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2008 #2

    ptr

    User Avatar

    The refraction of light from water to a curved glass then to air might cause the glass of the light bulb to look thicker. An optically opaque coating has no index of refraction of meaning, and is not part of the explanation.
     
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