# Tagged Questions

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### What “exactly” happens when a ray is incident at the critical angle?

The question arose when my physics teacher taught me geometrical optics and told that the phenomenon of both refraction and $reflection$ occur by change in medium. First of all, I'm not sure about the ...
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### Light-Matter Interaction and Object's Appearance

I am taking a course in Computer Graphics, and the teacher said we could put materials in there main categories: mirror like glossy or specular diffuse He suggested that the law of reflection is ...
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### Reflection from multiple thin films: accounting for lost light due to small surface area

I have a problem similar to reflection of multiple thin films. I have light coming in from medium 1 and I want to find the total reflected intensity after being reflected inside 2 layers. However, I ...
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### Double rainbows

In my garden, when I'm watering the plants I sometimes see a rainbow or two. How did two rainbows appear? Why can't I see three rainbows then, or how can I see three rainbows?
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### Anti-reflective coating effect on total internal reflection?

If the surface of prism is coated with an anti-reflective coating, (specifically an index matching, refractive index gradient, or moth-eye structure), and light impinges at a greater than critical ...
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### Surfaces that refract, but do not reflect

I know there exists surfaces that only reflect light (mirrors), but are there surfaces that only refract light? If so, how does that happen?
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### Image formation at surface of water

Consider a lake full of water which has an object immersed in it. Now, if an observer was at the surface at a sufficient distance so that the light ray from the object is internally reflected, should ...
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### Reflection vs indices of refraction [closed]

A magician during a show makes a glass lens with refractive index 1.47 disappear in a trough of liquid. What is the refractive index of the liquid? Could anyone please demonstrate with a ray diagram?
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### Evaluating angle of refraction [closed]

Can someone show me how to evaluate the angle of refraction for white light where the angle of incidence is 30 degrees if medium A is air and medium B is water. The answer is 22 degrees. I don't know ...
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### Difference between the increase in optical path due to refraction and that due to reflection

If we place two glass plates of refractive index n and each having thickness t,on the way of a light ray the increase in optical path becomes (S2P-S1P)=2(n-1)t due to refraction through them,and the ...
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### Would you see a rainbow from refraction when the sun is in front of you?

I know how rainbows are formed, and why. Usually it is said that the Sun must be behind the observer, in order for its light to be totally reflected inside the droplet and then reach the observer. ...
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### How does a one-sided glass work?

How does a one-sided glass work? If seen from the outer side, we can see through thinking it is transparent, while if seen from the inside, the glass acts as a mirror. How?
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### What does non magnetic and nonconducting mean in reflection and transmission of waves?

So, we were ask to consider the Fresnel Equations for parallel and perpendicular waves (with index of refractions). Then, we are ask to prove some equations in which "... for nonmagnetic ...
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### How much can a thin layer of hi-speed material within a low-speed volume block a wave due to total internal reflection?

Consider a block of isotropic material with compression wave velocity associated with it, $v_1$. Consider a thin flat layer of high compression wave velocity $v_2, v_2>v_1$ that is buried within ...
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### Why is a rainbow curved in shape?

Why is a rainbow curved in shape? When dispersion of light takes place, light splits into seven colors, but when rainbow is formed it appear to be bent. Why does this happen even though light travels ...
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### What really makes a rainbow happen?

Yes, a rainbow is formed when a raindrop refracts light, but why then does the whole sky not become a huge rainbow when it rains? Would the light not be dispersed into ordinary 'white' light? What ...
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### Wave equation in varying mediums

I recently stumbled upon the above image describing partial transmittance, and was wondering what sort of equation would model such a wave propagating through varying mediums. Is there also an ...
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### Why does the light at the bottom of the pool form this awesome pattern?

Take a look at the following picture: Why does the light at the bottom of the water form this pattern? I have also seen the same phenomenon in all the swimming pools I've ever visited, of whatever ...
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### Calculate the polarization vector on reflection or refraction from a dielectric interface

I am interested in ray-tracing polarized photons. I have code that works very well for unpolarized light. When a ray hits a dielectric interface the photon is either reflected or refracted by ...
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### Why do some materials reflect (metals) and other materials reflect and refract (glass) from the quantum perspective?

Recently I was asked to explain the difference between reflection and total internal reflection from a purely conceptual standpoint (no math). Let me explain what I already know. Reflection and ...
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### Photons-Wave/particle duality

I know that photons and electrons and such are said to have a wave particle duality, but what does that mean for a photon? When light strikes an object, are many photons emitted, enough to draw ...
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### How much refraction occurs as a fraction of all reflection and refraction?

When light reaches a boundary between materials below the critical angle, some of it refracts and some of it reflects. For example, glass acts as a partial mirror with a dark background. Assuming ...
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### Colors in the secondary rainbow reverse of that in the primary rainbow

Why the colors of Secondary rainbow is reverse of that in the color in the Primary rainbow? What can be the possible reason among the following options Because it is formed by one internal ...
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### Refraction and Reflection Seismology

So I am wondering if I got the difference right. Both methods use explosives to send waves into the earth's surface. Now reflection seismology tries to get information from the reflected waves; the ...
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### Why do diamonds shine?

I have always wondered why diamonds shine. Can anyone tell me why?
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### Refraction, reflection, and what is total reflection?

So if light travels from one media to another with a different refraction index, what may happen happen? Refraction, reflection or total reflection? I am quite confused as to the differences between ...
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### What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
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### reflection, refraction and diffraction occur in radio waves, which one occurs the most?

One of the things about Radio waves is that they undergo different behaviors such as reflection, refraction and diffraction when in contact with obstacles such as walls, buildings etc. what i want to ...
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### Modeling a spray painted polyurethane surface reflection

I'm modeling light interaction/reflection from a fiberglass surface with polyurethane epoxy (that is very reflective) that has been spray painted with a matte black paint. I'm looking for some input ...
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### The Interactions of Light and Matter

So basically, I was trying to find a good answer to the question of how light interacts matter. Namely on the quantum level what causes matter to appear transparent, reflective, opaque, etc I came ...
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### What determines how much light is reflected and refracted?

I'm currently working on a physics-based puzzle game with light refraction. I've read about the reflection/refraction incidence ratio, and how it's the proportion of the sine values of the angle of ...
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### How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)?

How is the following classical optics phenomenon explained in quantum electrodynamics? Reflection and Refraction Are they simply due to photons being absorbed and re-emitted? How do we get to ...