Light Reflection and Refraction: Use this tool to experiment with different incidence angles and refractive indexes to see the impact they have on refraction effects.

This tool was developed to form part of the Performative Design Refractive Index definition page.

This interactive illustration represents a cross-section through the interface between two transparent materials. When a light beam coming from the selected direction strikes the interface between the materials, some portion of it will be reflected, some transmitted and some absorbed. Because of differences in the apparent speed of light in each material, the part of the light wave entering the second material changes speed relative to that part still traveling in the first material, resulting in a slight change of direction. This is known as the angle of refraction. This app also shows the effects of critical angle and total internal reflection.

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