How mirage is formed ? please explain with diagram

Asked by Prajyot Tugaonkar | 9th Feb, 2014, 01:22: PM

Expert Answer:

Sometimes in a desert or on a highway a pool of water seems to be visible from far distance. When one goes near that place, the pool of water is no longer visible.
 
This pool is actually an optical illusion caused due to total internal refraction. It is called mirage.
 
 
The air near the ground is more hotter than the air layers above. Hence, the refractive index is also different.
The refractive index decreases from top to bottom.
 
Hence, the light coming from top to ground is actually travelling from a denser to rarer medium.
 
This light refracts away from normal and at a particular angle bends internally, which is called total internal reflection.
 
Thus, it seems that the light is coming from the ground surface giving rise to a mirage.

Answered by  | 10th Feb, 2014, 04:28: PM

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