Background Essay

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 St. Matt's Deep Site

To understand our project you need to know what refraction is and how it
works. The simple definition of refraction is the bending of light from one
transparent medium to another. For instance, sunlight shinning through the
air, through a car window into a vehicle, would be an example of refraction.
Have you ever put your feet in the pool and wondered why your legs look
disconnected? This is yet another example of refraction. We find many things
in our everyday life refracting light , such as water, glass, air, plastic
and artificial aluminum.

Refraction can be measured by the Snell's law = Ni * Sin (Ai) = Nr * Sin (Ar).
When-
Ni is the refractive index ( or the angle between the light ray and the line
perpendicular to the surface dividing the two tempers) of the medium the
light is leaving,
Ai is the incident angle between the light ray and the normal to the medium
Nr is the refractive index of the medium, where the light is entering,
Ar is the refractive angle between the light ray and the normal to the
medium.
This formula happens to be trigonometry, which is above our knowledge as 8th
graders, which in turn means we did not use this to calculate our results.
To further understand the complex definitions and the formula visit:
http://www.ps.missouri.edu/rickspage/refract/refraction.html.

Refraction is easily mistaken for reflection. Reflection is when light
bounces off an opaque material or, more simply put, when light bounces off of
things. It is important NOT to confuse the two when reading about our
experiment.