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# Refraction Savannah Kennedy Have you ever asked yourself why my body is not evenly proportioned in the pool?

Or why is that fish look closer then what is actually is? The answer to both of these questions is refraction. And what really is refraction; it is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where its speed is different. Refraction causes light to bend when it passes from one substance into another, in this case from air to water. In this paper I will tell you how refraction happens, the angles and laws of refraction, and some examples of refraction. In this paper I will discuss the refraction of light and the situations in which it occurs and why it happens and I will also discuss how refraction travels through different mediums and how the light bends. First things first, refraction occurs because when it is at the boundary of a medium and it is caused by a change in speed. Light refracts because it travels at an angle into a substance with a different refractive index. The amount of bending depends on the indices of refraction of the two media and is described quantitatively by Snell's Law. Snells Law gives the relationship between angle of incidence and refraction for a wave affecting on an interface between two media with different indices of refraction. The law follows from the boundary condition that a wave be continuous across a boundary, which requires that the phase of the wave be constant. The index of refraction is defined as the speed of light in vacuum divided by the speed of light in the medium. A refractive index is the ratio of velocity of light in two media and hence it is a number without a unit. The ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a medium is called the refractive index of the medium. There are two different types of angles which are angle of incidence and refraction. Angle of incidence is angle which the incident ray

makes with the normal ray at the point of incidence. The angle of incidence is basically the angle between the incident ray and the normal. Then the angle of refraction is angle that the refracted ray makes with the normal line. When you are determining the direction on the angle you can use an easy acronym FST and FSA. First FST means Fast to Slow. If a ray of light passes across the boundary from a material in which it travels fast into a material in which travels slower, than the light ray will bend towards the normal. Then FSA Slow to Fast, Away from the normal. If a ray of light passes across the boundary from a material in which it travels slow into a material in which travels faster, then the light ray will bend away from the normal line. A good example of refraction is the broken pencil. What kind of water does that to a pencil? The water is actually not special at all: it is ordinary tap water. This pencil is still intact, but it appears distorted because of a property of light called refraction. Refraction causes light to bend when it passes from one substance into another, in this case from air to water. You may observe refraction affecting your own body when you are at the swimming pool. The parts of your body out of the water may not line up with the parts in the water. This distortion is all due to the bending of light. In conclusion refraction is just when light passes from one medium into a second medium, the light path bends. If a substance causes the light to speed up or slow down more, it will refract more. And sometimes refraction may distort things or make things appear closer or farther away.

Works Cited

Henderson, Tom. "The Cause of Refraction." The Cause of Refraction. Tom Henederson, 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. Serway, Raymond A., and Jerry S. Faughn. "Refraction ." Holt physics. Austin, Tex.: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2002. 487492. Print. Zobel, Edward . "Ray Optics, Light Refraction." Light Refraction. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. <http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/light/rayOptics/re fraction/refraction1.html>.