What is mirage 

Asked by sunilnagra822 | 6th Mar, 2019, 04:13: PM

Expert Answer:

A mirage  is an optical phenomenon that creates the illusion of water and results from the refraction of light through a non-uniform medium. Mirages are most commonly observed on sunny days when driving down a roadway. As you drive down the roadway, there appears to be a puddle of water on the road several yards (maybe one-hundred yards) in front of the car.  But the appearance of the water is simply an illusion.

Mirages occur on sunny days. The role of the sun is to heat the roadway to high temperatures. This heated roadway in turn heats the surrounding air, keeping the air just above the roadway at higher temperatures than that day's average air temperature. Hot air tends to be less optically dense than cooler air. As such, a non-uniform medium has been created by the heating of the roadway and the air just above it. While light is getting refracted when traveling through a non-uniform medium. If a driver looks down at the roadway at a very low angle (that is, at a position nearly one hundred yards away), light from objects above the roadway will follow a curved path to the driver's eye as shown in the diagram below.


Light that is traveling downward into this less optically dense air is geeting refracted and  change in direction is taking [lace due to this refraction. Due to refraction,  the ray would begin to bend more parallel to the roadway and then bend upwards towards the cooler air. As such, a person in a car sighting downward at the roadway will see an object located above the roadway.


Answered by Thiyagarajan K | 6th Mar, 2019, 04:47: PM

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