Total internal reflection (TIR)

Jun 17th, 2015
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Total internal reflection (TIR) is a consequence of refraction. Uses of TIR - Consider some of the uses of TIR. Prisms are used in cameras and binoculars. A 90 prism can be used to turn light through 90 (reflects at the hypotenuse) or 180 (in through the hypotenuse and reflects off both short sides).

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Episode 318: Total internal reflectionTotal internal reflection (TIR) is a consequence of refraction. SummaryStudent experiment: Ray tracing using semicircular block. (30 minutes)Discussion: Uses of TIR. (15 minutes)Demonstration: Transmitting a radio programme using fibre optic cable. (10 minutes)Worked example: Critical angle. (10 minutes)Student questions: On TIR. (30 minutes)Student experiment:Ray tracing using semicircular blockStudents can shine rays of light into the curved face of a semicircular glass or perspex block.Ask students to mark the centre of the straight edge with a fine permanent pen before they start. There are a few qualitative questions and answers included.Emphasise that total internal reflection can only happen when the light goes from high to low refractive index (from the denser to the less dense medium). It will show on their calculators as an error message if the refracted angle would be greater than 90o. The critical angle is always in the denser medium.TAP 318-1: Ray tracing on the way outDiscussion:Uses of TIRConsider some of the uses of TIR. Prisms are used in cameras and binoculars. A 90 prism can be used to turn light through 90 (reflects at the hypotenuse) or 180 (in through the hypotenuse and reflects off both short sides). If critical angle for the prism material is about 42 then it is totally internally reflected because the angle of incidence will be 45 from geometry. The

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