Atmospheric refraction

From AMS Glossary
Revision as of 18:26, 25 April 2012 by Perlwikibot (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

atmospheric refraction

Refraction by an atmosphere (usually Earth's) as a consequence of refractive index gradients resulting from molecular number density gradients arising from pressure, temperature, and possibly water vapor gradients.

Near surfaces on the earth (within a few meters or so), atmospheric refraction of visible and near-visible light usually is dominated by temperature gradients. Although atmospheric refraction used without qualification usually means refraction of electromagnetic waves, it could mean refraction of acoustic waves.
See mirage.

Personal tools