Reflection of light in a water tank

Reflection of light in a water tank It will be difficult to understand how the reflection of light occurs especially in water for somebody that does not have the concept of reflection. Comprehending this concept, reflection of light in the water tank, will need an understanding of how the process occurs and some of the applications in real life situations. The experiment at the lab provided a chance for understanding the process of light reflection. The experiment involved the use water tank. The source of light in the experiment was a laser whereby we shoot a beam into the water from three directions (top, bottom and sideways). The question arising from this experiment helping to explain the concept includes: Why the beam does not penetrate the water tank after the reflection? What is the cause of light bending in water? We realized that the light did not penetrate the water tank after reflection. The unusual Reflection occurring in water, results from the light speed and wavelength that differs between mediums. In case, there were two mediums, that is, water and air, with the two presenting different speeds and wavelength. The light is moving from the air, which has a shorter wavelength, to water, which has a longer wavelength. This means that the usual reflection does not occur because of the different wavelength and speed at the two interfaces. The light will move at a slower speed as it enters the water from air, making the light to changes its wavelength (Waldman, 45). The slower pace makes light reduce its wavelength when in water. The reduction in wavelength subsequently makes light to changes its wave direction thereby leading to the refraction. The change in the direction of light is what leads to the œlight bending in water. Further, the angle of incidence at the glass interface is what makes the light not to penetrate the water tank after the reflection. The angle of incidence at the glass interface is more than 410, which is the critical angle. This means that total internal reflection occurs making the light reflect back from the glass air interface into the glass (Horváth & Dezsö, 100). The experiment allowed us to understand that the different wavelength in the different materials affects the travelling of light leading to the phenomenal reflection of light in water. The various applications that we studied also enabled to get a deeper understanding from the experiment. For instance, we immersed a pen in the water tank in order to realize the bending of light. We realized that there was apparent bending of the pen inside the water making us deduct that light bends in water. Further, the experience of an individual entering a water body from the land helps in explaining the effect of changing speed in different materials. Once the individual enters the water body, he experiences a slower speed than the normal speed when in the land. This means that the speed changes in a different medium causing light to change its wavelength and subsequent direction. The experiment was useful for me in understanding the concept of reflection of light in water. I realized that the uniqueness associated with the process arises from other factors, speed and wavelength of the mediums. When light moves between two different medium with different wavelengths, refraction of the light will occur. I also learnt about total internal reflection, which occurs when the angle of incidence at the interface is more than 410. Work cited Horváth, Gábor, and Dezsö Varjú. Polarized Light in Animal Vision: Polarization Patterns in Nature. Berlin [u.a.: Springer, 2004. Print. Waldman, Gary. Introduction to Light: The Physics of Light, Vision, and Color. Mineola: Dover Publications, 2002. Print.

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