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Guy in a pool


esmith

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While perusing the internet in order to further delay my impending calculus homework, I came across this picture. While I did not Google "studly old man in pool with head and forearm detached from body," I found it anyway. While the average medieval peasant might think this image the work of black magic or Photoshop, I as a student of physics recognized it as merely a demonstration of the wave properties of light. The reason his head and forearm are not attached to the rest of his body is because the light reflected off it is refracted by the water an the glass wall of the pool. The water and the glass have a higher index of refraction than standard air, so when the light comes off the man's muscular body and travels from the water to the glass to the air, it is refracted at each transition by an angle theta. Because of this angle of refraction and because the human eye cannot perceive reflected or refracted light waves, it appears as though the man's body is at a different location than his head and forearm. So the man is not some sort of mutant with a head coming out of his arm. Outside of his devilishly good looks, he is just an ordinary dude, and light played a trick on us.  

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