Definitions for critical angle

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word critical angle

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

crit′ical an′gle(n.)

  1. the minimum angle of incidence beyond which total internal reflection occurs for light traveling from a medium of higher to one of lower index of refraction.

    Category: Optics

  2. the angle of attack at which a sudden change in airflow occurs around the wings of an aircraft, reducing lift and increasing drag.

    Category: Aeronautics

Origin of critical angle:

1870–75

Princeton's WordNet

  1. critical angle(noun)

    the smallest angle of incidence for which light is totally reflected

Wiktionary

  1. critical angle(Noun)

    The smallest angle of incidence for which light is totally reflected from a boundary between one medium and a less refractive one

  2. critical angle(Noun)

    The smallest angle of attack of an airfoil at which lift suddenly decreases and drag suddenly increases

  3. critical angle(Noun)

    The smallest angle of a ramp or stairs considered uncomfortable or unsafe

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