Why does the surface of water look mirror-like from the underside at certain angles?

689 views
0

Why does the surface of water look mirror-like from the underside at certain angles?

In: Physics

One I can answer!

Essentially, light will pass through (refract) untill a certain angle until it bends into itself (reflects) this angle is known as the critical angle and
changed depending on temperature, depth, substance etc..

Essentially, when refracted, light bends towards the ‘normal’ and at a certain angle, the light can’t bend and instead reflects.

Edit: as the guy below me says, this is known as ‘total internal reflection’

this is called “total internal reflection” in optics.

light can escape from water into air only at steep angles. At shallow angles it gets reflected “totally”, meaning the reflectivity is 100%. That is even higher than normal metallic mirrors (90%-98%).

The reason is (missing) refraction. refraction and reflection occurs together. For steep angles refraction is high, and reflection is rather low. At shallow angles this changes dramatically: refraction is “forbidden” hence all light goess into reflection.