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refraction

[n]
〔物〕折射,折射法
折光
(光、音波等的)屈折,折射;折射作用;折射度;【天文学】蒙气差,折光差;【化学】硝石杂物含有率(测定)

the bending of a light ray as it passes through media of different densities.
Light rays bend as they pass from a medium of one density into a medium of a different density. This is refraction. For example, a distant object appears nearer than it actually is, because of the varying densities of air. A stick immersed in water appears bent at the point of its contact with water. This is due to refraction.