critical angle

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Refraction internal reflection diagram.svg


critical angle (plural critical angles)

  1. (physics) The smallest angle of incidence for which light is totally reflected from a boundary between one medium and a less refractive one
  2. (aerodynamics) The smallest angle of attack of an airfoil at which lift suddenly decreases and drag suddenly increases
  3. (architecture) The smallest angle of a ramp or stairs considered uncomfortable or unsafe


See also[edit]