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angle of incidence

1. n. [Geophysics]

The acute angle at which a raypath impinges upon a line normal to an interface, such as a seismic wave impinging upon strata. Normal incidence is the case in which the angle of incidence is zero, the wavefront is parallel to the surface and its raypath is perpendicular, or normal, to the interface. Snell's law describes the relationship between the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction of a wave.

See: angle of approachcritical reflectionhead waveraypathrefractionrefractive indexrefractorZoeppritz equations

Diagram of reflection and refraction.
Diagram of reflection and refraction.

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