Monday, August 1, 2011

Application of Total Internal Reflection

1. Fingerprinting devices
Fingerprinting devices use frustrated internal reflection in order to record an image of a person's fingerprint without the use of ink.

2. Rain sensors
An infrared light is beamed at a 45-degree angle into the windshield from the interior — if the glass is wet, less light makes it back to the sensor, and the wipers turn on.

3. Ability of diamonds to sparkle
Most rays entering the top of the diamond will internally reflect until they reach the top face of the diamond where they exit.

4. Optical Fibres
A fiber optic is a glass "hair" which is so thin that once light enters one end, it can never strike the inside walls at less than the critical angle. The light undergoes total internal reflection each time it strikes the wall.   Only when it reaches the other end is it allowed to exit the fiber. Fiber optic cables are used to carry telephone and computer communications.
Fiber optics can carry much more information in a much smaller cable. 
No interference from electromagnet fields result in "clearer" connections.
No electrical resistance.
No hazard of electrocution if cable breaks.

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