total reflection prisms

Light being deflected inside the total reflection prism

When studying the initial concepts of Geometric Optics, we saw that light propagates in a straight line. We can demonstrate this statement by exemplifying the use of the orifice camera obscura. We have also seen that some objects, such as mirrors, reflect light falling on their reflecting surface.

Other materials also have the ability to reflect light falling on them. The prism is one such material. Remember that a prism is any transparent solid, limited by plane and parallel faces.

Prisms have different applications in the study of Geometric Optics and are commonly used to deflect a ray of light – in this case, total reflection prisms are used , which replace mirrors much more efficiently.

Total reflection prisms are those in which the phenomenon of total reflection occurs on one or more faces. The most common type of these prisms is the one made of glass, whose main section is the isosceles right triangle, immersed in air.

Therefore, L = 42°. Thus, it can be seen that with incidence angles greater than 42°, total reflection occurs, as they satisfy the condition 1 > L. In the figures below, we have i = 45° (greater than 42°) inside the prisms, which causes total reflection on one or two faces, depending on which face the light penetrates perpendicularly.a

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