Total Internal Reflection

Total Internal Reflection

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Credit: GIPHOTOSTOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: When light travels from a more optically dense medium to a less optically dense medium and the angle of incidence exceeds a certain value, called critical angle, all the light is reflected back to the more optically dense medium. No light enters the less dense medium, except a very thin layer near the surface which is referred to as an evanescent wave. This effect is called total internal reflection. In this photograph a diode laser beam (635 nm) is totally internally reflected at the interface between a transparent acrylic slab and air. The acrylic slab is specially formulated to scatter some light and make the beam path visible from the side.

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Keywords: 635 nm, acrylic, angle of incidence, beam, coherent, critical angle, demo, demonstration, diode, diode laser beam, educational, effect, experiment, geometric, laser, light, monochromatic, monochromatic light, observation, optical, optical phenomenon, optics, photonics, physics, ray, red laser, reflect, reflection, refractive index, science, scientific, tir, total internal reflection, visible, wavelength

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