A Common Mirage

A Common Mirage

A common example of a virtual image is a pool of water that appears to lie on the road some distance ahead of you on a sunny day, but that you can never reach. The pool is a mirage (a type of illusion), formed by light rays coming from the low  section of the sky in front of you (Fig. 35-10). As the rays approach the road, they travel through progressively warmer air that has been heated by the road, which is usually relatively warm. With an increase in air temperature, the speed of light in air increases slightly and, correspondingly, the index of refraction of the air decreases

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