What is a mirage?

Asked by Topperlearning User | 21st May, 2014, 09:56: AM

Expert Answer:

Mirage is an optical illusion which occurs on a hot day on a tarred road or in deserts during summer days. A traveller will get the impression of pools of water on the road.Objects such as a tree appears to be inverted, as if the tree is on the bank of a pond of water.This is called mirage.

This is because the air near the surface of earth has high temperature and temperature decreases gradually as we move upwards. Hence the density and refractive index of air goes on increasing as we move upwards. So the ray of light from tree or other objects travel from denser medium to rarer medium and when the angle of incidence is greater than the critical angle total internal reflection takes place and an inverted image of object is obtained.

Answered by  | 21st May, 2014, 11:56: AM