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Homework Help: What accounts for the large shadows cast by the ends of the thin legs of the water st

  1. Mar 29, 2008 #1
    What accounts for the large shadows cast by the ends of the thin legs of the water strider? What accounts for the ring of bright light around the shadows?

    Here is my picture (below) (ATTACHED)

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2008 #2
    Bell bottoms?

    Actually, I can't see your picture (not approved yet), but I'd guess that some water climbs up the strider's legs, due to surface tension in the water, so there's a "jacket" of water on them. Or, maybe it's an optical effect due to the deformation of the water where the strider's legs contact the surface. It could act like a lens, which would explain the deflection of light so that you get dark spots (from where light was redirected) and brights spots (to where the light was redirected). I'm just guessing, though, since I haven't seen the picture .... of course, I could still be guessing even then!
  4. Mar 29, 2008 #3
    I believe the last thing you mentioned. "LENS"...is what my teacher is looking for. I just brushed up my reading and in the book, they talk a ton about lenses.
  5. Mar 29, 2008 #4
    Thanks Belliott
  6. Mar 29, 2008 #5
    Yup - if you're searching for key words, try "refraction"!
  7. Mar 29, 2008 #6
    Again...very helpful..thanks man.
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