snell's law
http://plus.maths.org/content/taxonomy/term/877
enMaths behind the rainbow
http://plus.maths.org/content/rainbows
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Marianne Freiberger </div>
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<p>The only good thing about a wash-out summer is that you get to see lots of rainbows. Keats complained that a mathematical explanation of these marvels of nature robs them of their magic, conquering "all mysteries by rule and line". But rainbow geometry is just as elegant as the rainbows themselves.</p>
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<p>When the great mathematician <a href="http://www.gap-system.org/~history/Biographies/Newton.html">Isaac Newton</a> explained the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton#Optics">colours of the rainbow</a> with refraction the poet <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Keats">John Keats</a> was horrified. Keats complained (through poetry of course) that a mathematical explanation robbed these marvels of nature of their magic, conquering <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow#Literature">"all mysteries by rule and line"</a>.<p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/rainbows" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/rainbows#commentsEuclidean geometrygeometryrefractionrefractive indexsnell's lawtrigonometryFri, 21 Oct 2011 08:34:47 +0000mf3445558 at http://plus.maths.org/contentThomas Harriot: A lost pioneer
http://plus.maths.org/content/thomas-harriot-lost-pioneer
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Anna Faherty </div>
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It's International Year of Astronomy and all eyes are on Galileo Galilei, whose astronomical observations 400 years ago revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. But few people know that Galileo wasn't the first to build a telescope and turn it on the stars. That honour falls to a little-known mathematician called Thomas Harriot, who excelled in many other ways too. <b>Anna Faherty</b>
takes us on a tour of his work. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">March 2009</div>
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<p><i>It's International Year of Astronomy and all eyes are on Galileo Galilei, whose astronomical observations 400 years ago revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. But few people know that Galileo wasn't the first to build a telescope and turn it on the stars. That honour falls to a little-known mathematician called Thomas Harriot, who might have become a household name, had he
bothered to publish his results. This article is a tour of his work.</i></p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/thomas-harriot-lost-pioneer" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/thomas-harriot-lost-pioneer#comments50algebraastronomybinary numberKepler's conjecturerefractionsnell's lawSun, 01 Mar 2009 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2351 at http://plus.maths.org/contentSplit reflections
http://plus.maths.org/content/split-reflections
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A new liquid breaks the laws of physics </div>
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<div class="pub_date">08/12/2006</div>
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<p>Whether you are checking someone out in a mirror or bouncing the eight-ball off the cushion to win at pool, the law of reflection is one of the handiest tools you can pick up from physics. The law of reflection says that a wave or stream of particles (or indeed a pool ball) is reflected off a boundary at an angle equal to the angle with which it hit the boundary - but is it always?<p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/split-reflections" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/split-reflections#commentschiralityreflectionrefractionsnell's lawsymmetryFri, 08 Dec 2006 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2492 at http://plus.maths.org/contentLight bends the 'wrong' way
http://plus.maths.org/content/light-bends-wrong-way
<div class="pub_date">May 2001</div>
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<p>Scientists at the University of California have created a material which could be used to make a perfect lens, because a key property of the material - its refractive index - is negative.</p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/light-bends-wrong-way" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/light-bends-wrong-way#commentsgroup velocitylensMaxwell's equations of electromagnetismnegative refractive indexphase velocityrefractionrefractive indexsnell's lawwavelengthMon, 30 Apr 2001 23:00:00 +0000plusadmin2784 at http://plus.maths.org/content