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Total Internal Reflection

Reflection and refraction

Mirror reflects light

Transparent medium refracts light

glass

mirror

Which angle is larger?


A light ray is emerging from glass to air.
Which angle is larger, in glass or in the air ?
normal
glass
Or this?
AIR
This?

Which angle is larger?


A light ray is emerging from glass to air.
Which angle is larger, in glass or in the air ?
normal
glass
Or this?
AIR
This?
Next

Critical Angle
For glass-air interface, the angle of refraction in
air > incident angle
glass

normal

Partial reflection
Incident angle

Angle of refraction

AIR

Which angle first?


If the angle of incidence increases, which angle
will reach 90o first, the angle of incidence or the
angle of refraction?
A

Angle of incidence (from glass)

Angle of refraction (in the air)

Next

Critical angle (2)


When we increase the angle of incidence (i), the
angle of refraction (r) increases until ......
normal

glass

i
r

AIR

Critical angle (3)


when the angle of refraction is 90o, the incident
angle is called the critical angle (C).
normal

glass

iC
90 r
o

AIR

Critical angle (4)


For glass-air interface, the critical angle is 42 o.
At critical angle, angle of refraction is 90 o, so,
by the laws of refraction,

sin r
sin190o
n=
=
sin i
sin C
n x sin C = 1
1
sin C =
n

What is the critical angle...


for water-air interface?
The refractive index of water is 1.33

1 1.33 = 0.75
sin-1 0.75 = 48.8o
=> C = 48.75o

1
sin C =
n

Critical angle (5)


For glass, the refractive index is 1.5;
C = sin-1 (11.5)
Critical angle = 41.81o
For water, the refractive index is 1.33;
C = sin-1 (11.33)
Critical angle = 48.75o

11
Csin
= sin
C =( )
nn
-1

What if ...
the angle of incidence (from glass) is larger
than the critical angle?
A

The angle of refraction will become


smaller again.

There will be no refracted ray.

The light ray will be reflected the


same way back.
Next

Total internal reflection (1)


When the light ray (from water) is emerging at
the critical angle, the refracted ray will be along
the interface.
AIR
water

Total internal reflection (2)


When the incident angle is larger than the
critical angle, total internal reflection will occur
(at the interface).
AIR
water

Next

Total internal reflection (3)


View under water!!

AIR
water

Total internal reflection (4)


Fish-eye view
sky
waves

see
Youthe
seesky here
You You
see
water
waves
total internal
through refraction
here here
reflection

waves
total internal
reflection here

total internal
reflection here

Can you explain the ...


fish-eye view by drawing light rays?

water

Yes

Fish eye view (1)


Central hole, shows the
squeezed view of the sky

totally internally
reflected ray
water

Fish eye view (2)


When a diver or fish looks upward under water,
part of the water surface looks like a mirror,
except the central hole.
So, the light entering the water from above the
surface is squeezed into a cone of angle 2C
2C
What is C ?
water

C is

critical angle

Revisit the fish eye view


Do you remember which part has refraction and
which part has total internal reflection?
sky(refraction here)

total internal
reflection here

What did you learn?


Critical angle

1
C = sin ( )
n
-1

Total internal reflection occurs when a light ray


tries to escape from water (or glass) to air at an
angle of incidence larger than the critical angle
at the interface.
Fish eye view is an example of total internal
reflection and refraction.