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Refraction of Light

Light seems to travel along straight-line paths in a transparent medium. What happens when light enters from one transparent medium to another?
We shall recall some of our day-to-day life experiences.
The bottom of a tank or a pond containing water appears to be raised.
When a thick glass slab is placed over some printed matter, the letters appear raised when viewed through the glass slab.

If you see a pencil that is partly immersed in water in a glass tumbler, it appears to be displaced at the interface of air and water.


You might have observed that a lemon kept in water in a glass tumbler appears to be bigger than its actual size.

Why do we observe this type of phenomena? or what makes these look like this? These observations indicate that light does not travel in a same direction in all media. It appears that while travelling obliquely from one medium to another, the direction of propagation of light in the second medium changes. This phenomenon is known as refraction of light.


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