%% A drowning man and Snell's Law
% Mohsin Javed, October 2013
%%
% (Chebfun example calc/SnellsLaw.m)
% [Tags: #calculus, #Snell's Law]
FS = 'fontsize'; MS = 'markersize';
LW = 'linewidth'; lw = 1.6;
%% How to save a drowning man
% On a bright sunny day we are having a nice time at the beach:
figure(1)
area( [-6, 6], [-6, -6] ); colormap([0 .8 1])
axis([-6,6,-6,6]), hold on
title('Beach',FS,14)
%%
% A lifeguard is located at the point $(-5, 5)$. (We use
% complex arithmetic for simplicity.)
sMan = -5+1i*5;
plot(sMan, '.k', MS, 24)
title('Beach, lifeguard',FS,14)
%%
% The lifeguard spots a man desperately struggling and about to drown. The
% location of the drowning man is $(5,-5)$:
dMan = 5-1i*5;
plot(dMan, '.r', MS, 24)
title('Beach, lifeguard, drowning man',FS,14)
%%
% Before the lifeguard makes a dash to save the drowning man, we note
% that the speed at which he can run on the sand is much greater than
% the speed at which he can swim in the water:
vLand = 10;
vWater = 3;
%%
% This means that rather than running straight toward the drowning man,
% he should
% run a little longer along the beach to make use of his faster speed. Exactly
% what path should he take can be computed by minimizing the total
% time, determined by a formula
% involving the two different speeds. This can be easily done in Chebfun. Let
% $x_0$ be the unknown point on the shore that he should run towards in order to
% reach the drowning man in a minimum time. In order to find $x_0$, we first
% define a chebfun $x$:
x = chebfun('x', [real(sMan), real(dMan)] );
%%
% The total time required to reach the drowning man as a function of a point $x$
% on the shore is given by:
T = abs(x-sMan)/vLand + abs(x-dMan)/vWater;
%%
% We now find the minimum time $T_{min}$ and the location of the minimum $x_0$,
% i.e., the point on the shore that the lifeguard should aim for.
[Tmin, x0] = min(T)
figure(2), plot(x,T, LW, lw), hold on
plot( x0, Tmin, 'or', MS, 14 ), hold off
s = sprintf( 'Optimal Point x_0= %.5f Minimum Time = %.5f', Tmin, x0 );
title( s, FS, 12), grid on
xlabel('x',FS,12), ylabel('Time',FS,12)
%%
% Let us now draw the optimal path that should be followed in order to reach the
% drowning man as quickly as possible.
figure(1)
plot([real(sMan), x0], [imag(sMan), 0], LW, lw )
plot([x0, real(dMan)], [0, imag(dMan)], 'r', LW, lw )
title('Beach, lifeguard, rescued man',FS,14)
%% Verifying Snell's Law
% This problem is an illustration of the famous Snell's law. Whenever an
% object is subject to motion with different speeds in two different media, the
% angle at which the object should hit the interface of the two media for an
% optimal path, i.e. the one requiring the least amount of time, is determined
% by Snell's Law: $$ \frac{\sin(\theta_1)}{\nu_1} =
% \frac{\sin(\theta_2)}{\nu_2}. $$ We can verify this in Chebfun very easily.
plot([x0, x0], [-4, 4], '--k', LW, lw)
sinTh1 = abs(real(sMan)-x0)/abs(sMan-x0);
sinTh2 = abs(real(dMan)-x0)/abs(dMan-x0);
th1 = asin(sinTh1); th2 = asin(sinTh2);
plot(x0+exp(1i*(pi/2+linspace(0,th1,100))), 'b')
plot(x0+exp(1i*(3*pi/2+linspace(0,th2,100))), 'r'), hold off
%%
sinTh1/vLand - sinTh2/vWater