Abstract

Ray-tracing simulations were performed to explore total internal reflection of light rays beneath capillary water waves. A vertically oriented light ray, scanned laterally below the wave surface, is mapped to a position that oscillates at a frequency f. It was found that f varies over 2 orders of magnitude as the dimensionless wave height a/λ varies from 0.34 to 0.73. This presents a possible frequency domain method for wave slope measurement in wave tank experiments. A linear relationship between the maximum displacement of the mapped ray and a/λ is also demonstrated for a/λ between 0.54 and 0.73, presenting a second wave slope measurement approach. The consequences of partial internal reflection are considered.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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