In About 1965 Engineers At The Toro

In about 1965, engineers at the Toro Company invented a gasoline gauge for small engines, diagrammed in Figure P35.43. The gauge has no moving parts. It consists of a flat slab of transparent plastic fitting vertically into a slot in the cap on the gas tank. None of the plastic has a reflective coating. The plastic projects from the horizontal top down nearly to the bottom of the opaque tank. Its lower edge is cut with facets making angles of 45° with the horizontal. A lawnmower operator looks down from above and sees a boundary between bright and dark on the gauge. The location of the boundary, across the width of the plastic, indicates the quantity of gasoline in the tank. Explain how the gauge works. Explain the design requirements, if any, for the index of refraction of the plastic.

In about 1965, engineers at the Toro

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