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Refraction of Light –Part 2. Internal Reflection. When light travels from a slow medium to a fast medium, the angle of refraction is larger than the angle of incidence. When the angle of refraction should be 90 o or greater, there is total internal reflection.

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Refraction of Light –Part 2

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Refraction of light part 2

Refraction of Light –Part 2

Internal reflection

Internal Reflection

  • When light travels from a slow medium to a fast medium, the angle of refraction is larger than the angle of incidence.

  • When the angle of refraction should be 90o or greater, there is total internal reflection.

  • The incident angle which predicts a 90o refraction angle is called the critical angle.

  • Applet

Critical angle

Critical Angle

  • n1sin qc = n2 sin 90o

  • n1sin qc = n2

  • sin qc = n2 / n1

  • qc = sin-1(n2 / n1)

  • For water: qc = 48o

  • The higher the index of refraction the lower qc

Fish eye view

Fish Eye View

View of world above applet

View of World AboveApplet

Bird fish

Bird & Fish

Internal reflection1

Internal Reflection

  • All rays reflect internally, but the top three rays reflect only a small percentage internally; most energy leaves the prism.

  • The fourth and fifth rays are reflected 100 % internally

Internal reflection in prisms

Internal Reflection in Prisms

Internal reflection in diamond

Internal Reflection in Diamond

  • The critical angle fordiamond in air is24.5 o.

  • Any ray which strikes the inside surface at an angle greater than 24.5o will be totally internally reflected.

Fiber optics

Fiber Optics

Fiber optics1

Fiber Optics

Dispersion blue bends best

DispersionBlue Bends Best

Different frequencies different indices of refraction

Different FrequenciesDifferent Indices of Refraction

Refractive index function of wavelength

Refractive IndexFunction of Wavelength

Table of indices

Table of Indices

Refraction reflection in a raindrop

Refraction & Reflectionin a Raindrop

Rainbow formation

Rainbow Formation

  • An observer seesred light comingfrom droplets ofwater higher inthe sky.

  • Droplets of waterlower in the skysend violet lightto the eye.

Circular rainbow

Circular Rainbow

Double rainbow picture

Double Rainbow Picture

Double rainbow picture1

Double Rainbow Picture

Rainbow arch

Rainbow Arch

Rainbow zoom

Rainbow Zoom

Double rainbow

Double Rainbow

Double rainbow diagrams

Double Rainbow Diagrams

Double rainbow diagram

Double Rainbow Diagram

Alexander s dark band

Alexander’s Dark Band

  • Sky is light inside primary rainbow

  • Dark between primary and secondary bows

  • Light beyond the secondary rainbow

  • Dark region between is called Alexander’s Dark Band

22 o halo

22o Halo

  • A halo is a ring of light surrounding the sun or moon.

  • Most halos appear as bright white rings but in some instances, the dispersion of light as it passes through ice crystals found in upper level cirrus clouds can cause a halo to have color.

Diameter less than 20.5 micrometers

Randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals



  • Sundogs or parhelia on right and left of sun

Flat faces horizontally oriented

Hexagonal ice crystals

Diameter greater than 30 micrometers







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