Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
2016 Photonics Buyers' Guide Clearance! – Use Coupon Code FC16 to save 60%!
Photonics Dictionary

mirage

The distortion of an object's true image as the result of abnormal atmospheric disturbances along the path traveled by the light. The atmospheric disturbances common with mirages are a result of a variation of temperature in a given region. The index of refraction of air is dependent on the temperature, density, and other properties. When air resides over extremely hot objects such as jet engines, candle flames, or the asphalt of the road on a hot day the gradual change of temperature in the atmosphere close to such a hot object will cause the gradual change in the index of refraction and thus a gradual bending of light as it propagates through the air in these regions. When the air next to the object is significantly higher than the air above it, light passing through will tend to be bent so much that it appears reflected. This is a mirage. See fata morgana; inferior mirage; superior mirage.
Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2016 Photonics Media
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.