Total Internal Reflection
July 01, 2008 Filed in: Demo Corner
Diana Hall, Bell High School, Nepean, Ontario
A fun example of total internal reflection can be created with an aquarium tank or similar transparent container filled with water. Students enjoy wandering around the tank with objects placed around on all sides including above and below. Sometimes you can see what you appear to be looking at and sometimes not. Students are challenged to draw ray diagrams to show why you cannot see certain objects but can unexpectedly see others from certain angles. One example is shown here. It’s definitely a good seed for discussion. Probably a good coffee table display for your parties too.
Column Editor: Ernie McFarland, Physics Department, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1