Find the word definition

Crossword clues for refraction

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Angle \An"gle\ ([a^][ng]"g'l), n. [F. angle, L. angulus angle, corner; akin to uncus hook, Gr. 'agky`los bent, crooked, angular, 'a`gkos a bend or hollow, AS. angel hook, fish-hook, G. angel, and F. anchor.]

  1. The inclosed space near the point where two lines meet; a corner; a nook.

    Into the utmost angle of the world.

    To search the tenderest angles of the heart.

  2. (Geom.)

    1. The figure made by. two lines which meet.

    2. The difference of direction of two lines. In the lines meet, the point of meeting is the vertex of the angle.

  3. A projecting or sharp corner; an angular fragment.

    Though but an angle reached him of the stone.

  4. (Astrol.) A name given to four of the twelve astrological ``houses.'' [Obs.]

  5. [AS. angel.] A fishhook; tackle for catching fish, consisting of a line, hook, and bait, with or without a rod. Give me mine angle: we 'll to the river there. --Shak. A fisher next his trembling angle bears. --Pope. Acute angle, one less than a right angle, or less than 90[deg]. Adjacent or Contiguous angles, such as have one leg common to both angles. Alternate angles. See Alternate. Angle bar.

    1. (Carp.) An upright bar at the angle where two faces of a polygonal or bay window meet.

    2. (Mach.) Same as Angle iron.

      Angle bead (Arch.), a bead worked on or fixed to the angle of any architectural work, esp. for protecting an angle of a wall.

      Angle brace, Angle tie (Carp.), a brace across an interior angle of a wooden frame, forming the hypothenuse and securing the two side pieces together.

      Angle iron (Mach.), a rolled bar or plate of iron having one or more angles, used for forming the corners, or connecting or sustaining the sides of an iron structure to which it is riveted.

      Angle leaf (Arch.), a detail in the form of a leaf, more or less conventionalized, used to decorate and sometimes to strengthen an angle.

      Angle meter, an instrument for measuring angles, esp. for ascertaining the dip of strata.

      Angle shaft (Arch.), an enriched angle bead, often having a capital or base, or both.

      Curvilineal angle, one formed by two curved lines.

      External angles, angles formed by the sides of any right-lined figure, when the sides are produced or lengthened.

      Facial angle. See under Facial.

      Internal angles, those which are within any right-lined figure.

      Mixtilineal angle, one formed by a right line with a curved line.

      Oblique angle, one acute or obtuse, in opposition to a right angle.

      Obtuse angle, one greater than a right angle, or more than 90[deg].

      Optic angle. See under Optic.

      Rectilineal or Right-lined angle, one formed by two right lines.

      Right angle, one formed by a right line falling on another perpendicularly, or an angle of 90[deg] (measured by a quarter circle).

      Solid angle, the figure formed by the meeting of three or more plane angles at one point.

      Spherical angle, one made by the meeting of two arcs of great circles, which mutually cut one another on the surface of a globe or sphere.

      Visual angle, the angle formed by two rays of light, or two straight lines drawn from the extreme points of an object to the center of the eye.

      For Angles of commutation, draught, incidence, reflection, refraction, position, repose, fraction, see Commutation, Draught, Incidence, Reflection, Refraction, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, from Late Latin refractionem (nominative refractio) "a breaking up," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin refringere "to break up," from re- "back" (see re-) + comb. form of frangere "to break" (see fraction).


n. 1 (context physics English) The turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density. 2 (context metallurgy English) The degree to which a metal or compound can withstand heat

  1. n. the change in direction of a propagating wave (light or sound) when passing from one medium to another

  2. the amount by which a propagating wave is bent [syn: deflection, deflexion]

Refraction (metallurgy)

In metallurgy, refraction is a property of metals that indicates their ability to withstand heat. Metals with a high degree of refraction are referred to as refractory. These metals derive their high melting points from their strong intermolecular forces. Large quantities of energy are required to overcome intermolecular forces.

Some refractory metals include molybdenum, niobium, tungsten, and tantalum. These materials are also noted for their high elastic modulus and hardness.

Refraction (sound)

Refraction, in acoustics, comparable to the refraction of electromagnetic radiation, is the bending of sound propagation trajectories (rays) in inhomogeneous elastic media (gases, liquids, and solids) in which the wave velocity is a function of spatial coordinates. Bending of acoustic rays in layered inhomogeneous media occurs towards a layer with a smaller sound velocity. This effect is responsible for guided propagation of sound waves over long distances in the ocean and in the atmosphere.


Refraction is the change in direction of propagation of a wave due to a change in its transmission medium.

The phenomenon is explained by the conservation of energy and the conservation of momentum. Due to the change of medium, the phase velocity of the wave is changed but its frequency remains constant. This is most commonly observed when a wave passes from one medium to another at any angle other than 0° from the normal. Refraction of light is the most commonly observed phenomenon, but any type of wave can refract when it interacts with a medium, for example when sound waves pass from one medium into another or when water waves move into water of a different depth. Refraction is described by Snell's law, which states that, for a given pair of media and a wave with a single frequency, the ratio of the sines of the angle of incidence θ and angle of refraction θ is equivalent to the ratio of phase velocities (v / v) in the two media, or equivalently, to the opposite ratio of the indices of refraction (n / n):

$$\frac{\sin\theta_1}{\sin\theta_2} = \frac{v_1}{v_2} = \frac{n_2}{n_1} .$$
In general, the incident wave is partially refracted and partially reflected; the details of this behavior are described by the Fresnel equations.

Usage examples of "refraction".

He was sufficiently impressed that Murrell had been able to pick out the slender tree across the glade, let alone snap-shoot through the flickering firelight, the smoke and heat-wave refraction, and hit it with even one of his bullets.

What had looked to be vague glints, odd refractions of the sunset, he now realized were photic reactions of some sort.

Freshly fallen from high, stratospheric clouds, the delicate frost coated every surface, from spars and rails to rigging, making the Manitou into a fairy ship of crystal dust, glowing in a profusion of pink sunrise refractions.

The country over which French was operating is dotted with those singular kopjes which the Boer loves--kopjes which are often so grotesque in shape that one feels as if they must be due to some error of refraction when one looks at them.

Every object attitudinizes, to the very mountains and stars almost, under the refractions of this wonderful humorist, and instead of the common earth and sky, we have a Martin's Creation or Judgment Day.

When the Sector arrives, they set up upon a Bluff overlooking Monon-gahela, and watch the Culmination of Stars in Lyra and Cygnus, correcting for seconds plus and minus of Aberration, Deviation, Precession, and Refraction, whilst in Cabins nearby the Wives of the new-hir'd Axmen gather, and those Axmen who may, come thro', and out the back, to take White Maize Whiskey out of a Tin Cup.

Polarizing microscopes show birefringence-the double refraction of crystals and fibers and some other materials.

Traffic on the opposite carriageway had also been stopped by the police, the flashing blue lights slowing to red as they shone through the fringes of the black mass, distorting the image of the road beyond like the refraction on the edge of a jam jar.

There was a file on Snell's Law, which states that a ray of light passing from one uniform medium to another produces an identical ratio between the sine of the angle of incidence and the sine of the angle of refraction, which Klaus already knew.

It was fitted and filled with looking-glasses at every angle of refraction, so that they looked like the hundred facets of one huge diamond--if one could get inside a diamond.

Certainly the angles of refraction are constant, I've measured those already.

In 1875, for instance, a Scottish physicist, John Kerr (1824-1907), had shown that glass and other substances could be made to exhibit double refraction in an intense electric field.

Blondlot set up a very ingenious and delicate experimental procedure that would measure the time it took for the double refraction to appear after the intense electric field had come into being.

Eventually Iwang worked up a law of refraction which he assured Khalid would account for all the colours.

To Molly, this seemed not to be the usual eye-shine of animals in the dark, but a phenomenon unique to this night, not simple light refraction, not bioluminescence, but something of a wondrous character: nimbuses pooled in sockets, signifying sanctification.