- 5.11: Total Internal Reflection
- Total internal reflection refers to a particular condition resulting in the complete reflection of a wave at the boundary between two media, with no power transmitted into the second region. One way to achieve complete reflection with zero transmission is simply to require the second material to be a perfect conductor. However, total internal reflection is a distinct phenomenon in which neither of the two media are perfect conductors.
Thumbnail: Sinusoidal traveling plane wave entering a region of lower wave velocity at an angle, illustrating the decrease in wavelength and change of direction (refraction) that results. (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported; Richard F. Lyon via Wikipedia)