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MCAT Physics Question — Pool

  • by John
  • Aug 07, 2014
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Physics, MCAT Question of the Day

Narcissus gazes down into a pool of water and sees his face. This is a result of

 

a) refraction

 

b) dispersion

 

c) diffraction

 

d) reflection

 

Explanation

 

Seeing an image at the interface between two mediums is a result of reflection.

 

a) refraction, incorrect, Refraction is the bending of a wave when entering a medium in which its speed is different.

 

b) dispersion, incorrect, Dispersion refers to a medium in which the velocity of light depends on its frequency. One common example is a dispersive prism which splits multi-hued light into a rainbow due to differences in refraction as the light passes through the prism geometry.

 

c) diffraction, incorrect, Diffraction refers to the effects of a wave encountering a slit.

 

d) reflection, correct, The water surface functions as a plane mirror.

 

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