Definitions of refraction

  1. the amount by which a propagating wave is bent
  2. The act of refracting, or the state of being refracted.
  3. The change in the direction of ray of light, heat, or the like, when it enters obliquely a medium of a different density from that through which it has previously moved.
  4. The change in the direction of a ray of light, and, consequently, in the apparent position of a heavenly body from which it emanates, arising from its passage through the earth's atmosphere; -- hence distinguished as atmospheric refraction, or astronomical refraction.
  5. The correction which is to be deducted from the apparent altitude of a heavenly body on account of atmospheric refraction, in order to obtain the true altitude.
  6. The change of direction of a ray of light in passing obliquely from one medium to another of different density.
  7. The act of refracting: the change in the direction of a ray of light, heat, etc., when it enters a different medium.
  8. The change of direction of a ray, as of light or heat.
  9. The change in the direction of a ray of light or heat as it passes through a smooth surface into a medium of a different density. Double refraction, the refracting of light in two directions. Astronomical refraction, the apparent angular elevation of the celestial bodies above their true places, due to the refracting power of the air. Angle of refraction, the angle made by a ray of light and a line perpendicular to the surface of the medium through which it is passing.
  10. The bending of a ray of light towards the perpendicular when it passes into a denser medium, as from air into water, and from the perpendicular when it passes into a rarer medium, as from water into air; in mech., the incurvation or change of determination in the body moved; in astron., the apparent angular elevation of celestial bodies above their true places, caused by the refracting power of the atmosphere; double refraction, the refraction of light in two directions, and consequent production of two distinct images.
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