BERENICE ABBOTT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BERENICE ABBOTT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Color enhanced photograph demonstrating the principle of parabolic reflection. The most common illustration of this principle is the auto headlight. In the ripple experiment a drop of water from an eye dropper is comparable to the auto headlight. Striking the water at the focus of the parabolic tank, it generates circular waves. When reflected from the parabolic side of the tank, the circular waves become straight waves analagous to the headlight's parallel beams.
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