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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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Conceptual light reflect/refraction problem

Alright, so, i think i get everything in the chapter on light and reflection/refraction. But, one question gets me. I think its because im not understanding the question correctly, but ive tried working backwards and i still dont get the right answer. ok here it is:
To a submerged diver looking upward through the water, the altitude of the Sun (the angle between the Sun and the horizon) appears to be 45* (*=degrees). The actual altitude of the Sun is greater than, less than, or equal to 45*? explain. and lastly, What is the Sun's actual altitude?
Thanks in advance i need help on this one...
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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See the attachment. Light comming from the sun S bends towards the normal after refraction and appears to come from S'. I t is clear from the fig that Actual altitude of the sun is less than the apparent.
For the second part use snell's law n = sini/sinr. n is the refractive index of the water. In your case
n= {sin (90-x)}/sin45 ,Put the vlue of n and find x, the actual altitude.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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what attachment?
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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Some problem appears there in my computer. I Tried many times but could not attach the file. Any way, I am trying to explain withought that.
let x be the actual altitude of the sun. its angle of incedence (angle with the normal) will be (90-x). This ray bends towards the normal and makes an angle of refraction = 45 degree. This ray on extending backward gives the apparent altitude of the sun. Hence n= sin(90-x)/sin45

Last edited by Parvez; Mar 22nd 2009 at 09:52 PM.
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Old Mar 22nd 2009, 10:26 PM   #5
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Here is the attachment.

Last edited by Parvez; Apr 28th 2009 at 10:38 PM.
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