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Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥...

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Atmospheric Optics Scattering Reflection Refraction Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the atmosphere can be explained by four physical mechanisms. 1 Refraction • Green Flash • Mirage • Halo • Tangent Arc • Rainbow 2 Refraction Light slows down as it passes from a less dense to a more dense medium. As light slows it bends toward the denser medium. Similar to waves approaching a beach. The amount of bending depends on the wavelength (color) of the light, leading to dispersion or separation of colors. 3 Refraction in Air Mirage 4
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Page 1: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Atmospheric Optics

• Scattering

• Reflection

• Refraction

• Diffraction

The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the atmosphere can be explained by four physical mechanisms.

1

Refraction

• Green Flash

• Mirage

• Halo

• Tangent Arc

• Rainbow

2

Refraction

Light slows down as it passes from a less dense to a more

dense medium.

As light slows it bends toward the

denser medium. Similar to waves approaching a beach.

The amount of bending depends on the wavelength (color) of the

light, leading to dispersion or separation of colors.

3

Refraction in Air

Mirage

4

Page 2: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction in Air

Mirage

5

Refraction in Air

Green Flash

6

7

Refraction in Air

Green Flash

8

Page 3: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction in Air

Green Flash

9

Refraction in Air

Green Flash

10

Refraction in Air

Red Flash

11

Refraction by Ice Crystals

22 1/2˚ Halo

12

Page 4: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction by Ice Crystals

Sun Dogs

13

Refraction by Ice Crystals

Sun Dog

14

Refraction by Ice Crystals

22 1/2˚ Halo

15

Refraction by Ice Crystals

22 1/2˚ Halo and Upper Tangent Arc

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Page 5: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction by Ice Crystals

22 1/2˚ Halo

17

Refraction by Ice Crystals

Halo Complex

18

Refraction by Ice Crystals

Halo Complex

19

Refraction by Ice Crystals

46˚ Halo?

20

Page 6: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction by Ice Crystals

Lower Tangent Arc

21

Refraction by Ice Crystals

Lower Tangent Arc

22

Refraction and Scattering

Sun Pillar and Sun Dog?

23

Refraction by Water Drops

24

Page 7: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction by Water Drops

25

Refraction by Rain

26

Refraction by Water Drops

Primary Rainbow

Violet

Red

27

Refraction by Rain

Double Rainbow

28

Page 8: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction by Rain

Double Rainbow

29

Refraction by Rain

Partial Rainbow

30

Refraction by Rain

Double Rainbow

31

Refraction by Rain

High Sun: Low Rainbow

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Page 9: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Refraction by Rain

Low Sun: High Rainbow

33

Refraction by Rain

! Rainbow seen from Airplane

34

Diffraction

Constructive interference of light waves can produce

color separation.

The physical mechanism in

this case is called diffraction.

Produces colors on soap

films, oil slicks, and music CDs.

35

Diffraction causes Interference

Diffraction is the tendency of light waves to bend as they pass the edges of objects.

36

Page 10: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Diffraction by Soap Film

Examples include:

• Iridescence

• Corona

• Glory

• Supernumerary bows

37

Diffraction by Cloud Drops

Iridescence

38

Diffraction by Airplane Window

Artificial Iridescence

39

Diffraction by Cloud Droplets

Corona

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Page 11: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Diffraction by Pollen

Corona

41

Diffraction and Reflection

Glory

42

Diffraction and Reflection

Glory

43

Diffraction and Reflection

Glory

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Page 12: Refraction Refraction in Air · 2005-10-21 · Atmospheric Optics ¥ Scattering ¥ Reßection ¥ Refraction ¥ Diffraction The amazing variety of optical phenomena observed in the

Diffraction and Reflection

Supernumerary Rays

45

Diffraction and Reflection

! Fog Bow: larger drops do not allow dispersion of colors.

46

Diffraction and Reflection

! Fog Bow: larger drops do not allow dispersion of colors.

47


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