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Light Refraction

Refraction is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in its transmission medium. Refraction is a surface phenomenon. It is in agreement with the law of conservation of energy and momentum. Due to the change of medium, the phase velocity of the wave is changed but its frequency remains constant. This principle is commonly observed when a wave passes from one medium to another any angle besides 90o and 0o.

Refraction of light is the most commonly observed phenomenon but any type of wave can refract when it interacts with a medium. For example, when sound waves pass from one medium into another or when water waves move into water of a different depth.

Refraction is described by Snell’s law. This law states that for a given pair of media and a ave with a single frequency, the ration of the sines of the angle of incidence ϴ1 and angle of refraction ϴ2 is equivalent to the ratio of phase velocities in the two media or equivalent to the opposite ratio of the indices of refraction. The equation is as followed

sinϴ1/sinϴ2 = v1/v2 = n2/n1

The incident wave is partially refracted and partially reflected. This behavior can be described by the Fresnel equations.

Categories within Light Refraction


Postings: 8

A prism is a transparent optical element with a smooth surface that refracts light.


Postings: 57

A lens is a transparent optical device that transmits and refracts the light.

Refraction, Refractive Index, Resolution and Numerical Aperture

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Law of Refraction, Rainbows, Raindrops

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Rays of Light: Incident on Glass Plate Example Problems

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Reflection and refraction are examined.

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Special Senses

Regarding the eye and vision describe how it is that you can see your computer screen to read this post.

Behavioral Science: Neural Systems

Explain the communication process of neurons in the brain. List some common neurotransmitters and describe their effect on behavior. Identify the major regions of the brain and what functions of behavior the systems of each region control. Consider the following chain of events. Describe the sensory process that takes pl

A problem on prism.

The Triangular prism shown in Figure 1 (see attachment) has index of refraction 1.5 and angles 37, 53, and 90 degrees. The shortest side of the prism is set on a horizontal table. A beam of light, initially horizontal, is incident on the prism from the left. a.) On Figure 1, sketch the path of the beam as it passes throu

At what angle does the light enter the liquid?

A ray of light traveling through a gas (n = 1.00) enters a solid (n = 1.55) at an an angle of 35 degrees and then enters a liquid (n = 1.55). At what angle does the light enter the liquid?

Reflection and refraction of light: half silvered sphere.

A solid glass sphere of radius R and index 1.50 is silvered over one hemisphere. A small object is located on the axis of the sphere at a distance 2R from the pole of the un-silvered hemisphere. Find the position of the final image formed by the refracting and reflecting surfaces. My approach to this question had the rays in

Refraction and Distance

A spotlight on a boat is 2.5 m above the water and the light strikes the water at a point that is 8.0 m horizontally displaced from the spotlight. The depth of the water is 4.0 m. Determine the distance d, which locates the point where the light strikes the bottom. 2.5 m 8 m

The Thin-Lens Equation

A thin lens forms an image of an overhead electric lamp on a piece of paper. The distance to the lamp from the lens is 148 cm; the distance to the paper from the lens is 16.0 cm. What is the focal length of the lens? I need to see each step and formula to solve this question.

Interference of light: Michelson's Interferometer.

2). A Michelson interferometer has a vacuum chamber 5.0 cm long placed in one of its arms. The interferometer is illuminated with green laser light of wavelength lambda = 543.5nm. As an unknown gas is let into the vacuum chamber, 200 fringes are counted. (Assume an ideal vacuum initially). What is the index of refraction of

Light is incident on a transparent glass slab in vacuum and again when the slab is then immersed in a pool of liquid. Given the angles of incidence and refraction, to determine the index of refraction of the liquid.

Light in a vacuum is incident on a transparent glass slab. The angle of incidence is 40.6°. The slab is then immersed in a pool of liquid. When the angle of incidence for the light striking the slab is 11.7°, the angle of refraction for the light entering the slab is the same as when the slab was in a vacuum. What is the index

Light Refraction and Reflection of a Laser

The drawing shows a crown glass slab with a rectangular cross-section. As illustrated, a laser beam strikes the upper surface at an angle of 60.0 degree. After reflecting from upper surface, the beam reflects from the side and bottom surfaces. (a) If the glass is surrounded by air, determine where part of the beam first exits th

Problem Set of Interference and Parallel Plates

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Critical Angle for Total Reflection in Water & Ray-Tracing Balloon Diagram

1. A piece of lucite (transparent plastic) has an index of refraction of 1.45. Find the critical angle (for total internal reflection) if the plastic is in air. Now find the critical angle if the plastic is immersed in water. In both cases, we are considering a ray of light inside the lucite, hitting the interface between lucite

Paraxial Ray tracing problem

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Refraction of light

A point source of light is submerged 2.2 m below the surface of a lake and emits rays in all directions. On the surface of the lake, directly above the source, the area illuminated is a circle. What is the maximum radius that this circle could have?

Calculate: Angle of Incidence

The angle of refraction for a ray of light traveling through an ice cube is 35 degrees, (a) now suppose the ice melts, but the angle of refraction remains the same, is the corresponding angle of incidence greater than, less than, or the same as it was for the ice? Explain. (b) Calculate the angle of incidence for part (a).

Light Refraction Question

A beam of light falls from air onto a slab of transparent plastic at an angle of incidence of 45 degrees. The angle of refraction of the refracted ray in the plastic is 30 degrees. The refractive index of the plastic is: a. 1 b. 2 c. square root 2 d. 1/2

Light Questions

1. Calculate the minimum theoretical angle of resolution of a telescope 5.08m (200in.) in diameter for light of 550nm. 2. Two small street lights 2.00 m apart are photographed by a camera 30m away. The camera's 50-mm focal-length lens has an aperture of f/1.8. Can the two lamps be distinguished on the photograph? 3. Light

Interference in thin films

A transparent oil of index of refraction 1.29 spills on the surface of water (index of refraction 1.33), producing a maximum of reflection with normally incident violet light (wavelength 400 nm in air). Assuming the maximum occurs in the first order, determine the thickness of the oil slick.

4 Problems

1. A woman 168cm tall stands in front of a plane mirror attached to a vertical wall. What is the minimum length that the mirror must have for the woman to see her entire height? 2. Water in a fish tank is 38cm deep, and a coin rests on the bottom. How far below the surface does the coin appear to be when viewed from above? (A

The Refraction of Perpendicularly Incident White Light

The refraction of perpendicularly incident white light by a soap film in air has an interface maximum at 600nm and a minimum at 450nm, with no minimum in between. If n=1.33 for the film, what is the film thickness, assumed uniform?

Refracted Light Beam

A beam of light of wavelength 550nm, traveling in air, is incident on a slab of transparent material. The incident beam makes an angle of 40 degrees with the normal, and the refracted beam makes an angle of 26 degrees with the normal. (a) Find the index of refraction on the material? (b) What is the wavelength of this ligh

Speed & refraction

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