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What is Refraction?

Refraction is a change of direction of a wave.
Any type of wave can be refracted. We shall look at the refraction
of Water Waves, Light Waves and Waves from Earthquakes.

Refraction can occur when the speed of a wave changes,
as it moves from one environment (medium) to another.
After refraction, the wave has the same frequency
but a different speed, wavelength and direction.

When a wave enters a new environment,
its change in speed will also change its wavelength
(see the definition of wavelength).

If the wave enters the new environment at any angle
other than normal to the boundary, then the
change in the wave's speed will also change its direction.
This is most easily shown with water waves.

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