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ERIC Number: EJ818444
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Underwater Rays
Cepic, Mojca
European Journal of Physics, v29 n4 p845-855 Jul 2008
Light beams in wavy unclear water, also called underwater rays, and caustic networks of light formed at the bottom of shallow water are two faces of a single phenomenon. Derivation of the caustic using only simple geometry, Snell's law and simple derivatives accounts for observations such as the existence of the caustic network on vertical walls, the splitting of the networks, the underwater rays and the intensity of a light profile in different depth regimes. As the phenomenon presented is easily observed in nature but rather poorly understood, its explanation may strengthen students' awareness of the connection between physics and everyday life. The explanation of the phenomenon presented is appropriate for undergraduate courses of optics within physics. (Contains 8 figures and 1 footnote.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A