# Tagged Questions

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### Refractive index variation with colors [duplicate]

To explain the spectrum formation in the prism, my teacher said that different colors have different speeds in a medium, so, refractive index is different for all. So, angle is different. But I don't ...
51 views

### Why does the speed of the Electromagnetic wave in the material depend on the frequency of the wave where as they are constant in vacuum (freespace)? [duplicate]

I am confused on why would the propagation speed of any EM waves at ANY frequency is constant in the free space (vacuum) but they seem to disperse in any other materials as the propagation speed of EM ...
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### Reflection from multiple thin films: accounting for lost light due to small surface area

I have a problem similar to reflection of multiple thin films. I have light coming in from medium 1 and I want to find the total reflected intensity after being reflected inside 2 layers. However, I ...
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### Color in Different media

When a light wave passes from one medium to other, the wavelength of the light wave changes and the frequency remains constant. If then color of the light waves depends on changing wavelength or ...
53 views

### Anti-reflective coating effect on total internal reflection?

If the surface of prism is coated with an anti-reflective coating, (specifically an index matching, refractive index gradient, or moth-eye structure), and light impinges at a greater than critical ...
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### light color and refraction

I'm a bit confused on the topic of refraction, some starting premises: 1) When light refracts from exiting a medium with a low n and entering a medium with high n the light bends. 2) The index of ...
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### optical diffusion (scattering) versus refraction

When an electromagnetic wave meets an interface a part of it is reflected and part of it is refracted (and from the refractive index I can calculate the angles of propagation and the intensities using ...
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### Why does light travel in a straight line through a liquid?

So I was reading a document that stated that when traveling through a material (I'll use a liquid here, maybe water), a photon actually always traveled at 300,000 km/s, it was just that it ...
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### Image formation at surface of water

Consider a lake full of water which has an object immersed in it. Now, if an observer was at the surface at a sufficient distance so that the light ray from the object is internally reflected, should ...
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### Why is the phase velocity used in the definition of the refractive index?

I'm aware of the so-called group index but why is the phase velocity used in the standard definition of the index of refraction? What advantage does this offer?
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### What happens to the index of refraction of a lens if placed in water?

What happens to the index of refraction and focal length of a lens that is initially in air that is then placed in water?
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### Diver view of refraction

I'm studying the refraction in optics. If a red light monocromatic beam of red light (700 nm) passes from air to water it becomes with a wavelenght of aprox 526 nm. So, my question is: How is going ...
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### Imaginary number for extinction coefficient in complex refractive index

In complex refractive index on a material, $n=n'+ ik$, the imaginary part $k$ is physical meaning, as it shows absorption in the material but it is an imaginary. How we measure an imaginary values in ...
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### Does ordinary refraction exert a couple on the refracting medium?

Refraction gives rise to a momentum change orthogonal to the propagation direction. This must result in an equal and opposite change to the medium at the boundary. Entry and exit cancel, and the ...
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### Difference between the increase in optical path due to refraction and that due to reflection

If we place two glass plates of refractive index n and each having thickness t,on the way of a light ray the increase in optical path becomes (S2P-S1P)=2(n-1)t due to refraction through them,and the ...
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### Non-uniform lens flares [duplicate]

I assume -- and maybe wrong -- that lens flares, in photography, are caused by light getting "trapped" inside the curved lens and bouncing around (due to refraction and non-perfect total internal ...
557 views

### Would you see a rainbow from refraction when the sun is in front of you?

I know how rainbows are formed, and why. Usually it is said that the Sun must be behind the observer, in order for its light to be totally reflected inside the droplet and then reach the observer. ...
371 views

### Why does the light travel slower in denser medium? [duplicate]

Wikipedia says that "in general, the refractive index of a glass increases with its density." And the refraction index of water vapor is less than ice, and even less than liquid water. Is there any ...
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### Refractive Index formula for denser to rarer medium

I learnt that the formula for refractive index when light travels from rarer to denser medium is (sin i / sin r) where i = angle of incidence r = angle of refraction Is the same formula used for ...
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### Deriving and gaining intuition for the equation for the index of refraction $n = \sqrt{\mu_r\epsilon_r}$

I've come across the equation in the title. It relates the index of refraction of a substance to the square root of the product of the relative permittivity and the relative permeability at whatever ...
163 views

### How to compensate ray displacement caused by refraction in glass slab

I need a nudge in the right direction, i guess (this is not a homework question). I want to calculate the total length of a ray from an emitter to a target which passes through a slab with known ...
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### Apparent depth and the viewing angle [closed]

Does the viewing angle of a person observing a coin placed in a bucket of water affect the apparent depth in any way?
139 views

### Why is a rainbow curved in shape?

Why is a rainbow curved in shape? When dispersion of light takes place, light splits into seven colors, but when rainbow is formed it appear to be bent. Why does this happen even though light travels ...
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### Pfund's method for refractive index

I wish to obtain the refractive index of a smooth surface using only a laser of given wavelength and a light sensor. I thought of using the Pfund method (attached), but I can't understand how the ...
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### The velocity of light changes from one medium to another, but does its energy change?

Does energy of light change when a light travels from a medium to another of different optical density?
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### What really makes a rainbow happen?

Yes, a rainbow is formed when a raindrop refracts light, but why then does the whole sky not become a huge rainbow when it rains? Would the light not be dispersed into ordinary 'white' light? What ...
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### Refraction through prism

We know that the light gets refracted when it enter a medium low/high refractive index. But why light is not refracted when it comes out from the vertex of a prism.
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### Is there a way to increase the speed of light itself?

When light enters materials it slows down due to its refractive index (due to absorbing and re-emission of photons). But, is there a way to increase the speed of light itself? Can there be some ...
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### What causes refraction of visible light? [duplicate]

Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where its speed is different. The refraction of light when it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light ray toward the ...
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### Polarization in Nicol prism

My book reads "When unpolarized light is incident on nicol prism (made of 2 crystals joined by Canada balsam a type of glue) it divides into 2 rays, both rays are plane polarized and electric field ...
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### Finding out the minimum deviation angle [duplicate]

Let a light incident on a prisom at right angle. I want to determine the minimum deviation angle. I know a relation $$\frac{\cos i_1}{\cos r_1} = \frac{\sin i_1}{\sin r_1}$$ and minimum angle ...
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### Why don't fogbows appear on clouds?

As far as I know clouds are lot of small droplets condensed in air. If droplets are large enough we see a rainbow. If they are small we see a fogbow. Although the size of the droplets are big enough ...
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### Temperature-induced wavelength shift of optical coatings?

Optical coatings designed for reflection or anti-reflection are made of many thin layers which will expand when heated. What will the effect be on the wavelengths the coating will reflect when the ...
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### Dispersion relation of silicon

In the case of dispersion relation of silicon having crystal plane orientation 111; what is the Sellmeier's equation for refractive index $n$ of silicon orientation 111 & what it's extinction ...
290 views

### Apparent size of objects under water

A friend of mine has a homework question and we're having some trouble figuring out what physical mechanisms come into play for this. An underwater swimmer sees a spherical air bubble that appears ...
156 views

### Refraction of light in medium

Given that the plane $y=0$ separates the vacuum ($y>0$) from the optical medium ($y<0$), I would like to calculate the trajectory of a light ray starting at the point $(x_1,y_1)$ and ending in ...
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### Analytic solution for angle of minimum deviation?

Consider a simple prism with a prism angle $A$, angle of incidence $\theta_1$, angle of emergence $\theta_4$ and the first and second angle of refraction as $\theta_2,\theta_3$. the refractive index ...
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### Law of refraction from Scalar Diffraction Theory

I am trying to figure out if Snell's Law for refraction can be derived from Scalar Diffraction Theory. The setup is this: light (plane wave, with wave vector $\vec k_i = (k_x, k_y, k_z)$ ) falls on ...
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### Why Negative refractive index is negative

$n=\sqrt{\epsilon \mu }$ Negative refractive index happens when permittivity ($\epsilon$) and permeability ($\mu$)of a material is negative. My question is, if permittivity and permeabilitity of a ...
126 views

### Good explanation of a real image?

Okay well I've started to study phys chem in school recently and I honestly can't get my head around what a real image actually is I've asked my teacher to demonstrated it but she's quite lazy, and ...
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### Faster than light in plasma

Some plasmas have a refraction index of less than 1. In these plasmas the phase velocity of light can be faster than light-speed. But the phase itself won't transfer information, so no paradox occurs ...
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### If a beam of light follows the path $y(x)=y_0\sin(x/y_0)$, what is the index of refraction?

An exam question that showed up while I was studying: A plane wave refracts and follows a ray given by the equation $y=y_0\sin(x/y_0)$ where $y_0$ is a constant. Find the refractive index $n(y)$ ...
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### Calculate the polarization vector on reflection or refraction from a dielectric interface

I am interested in ray-tracing polarized photons. I have code that works very well for unpolarized light. When a ray hits a dielectric interface the photon is either reflected or refracted by ...
166 views

### Why does a mirage disappear as you approach it?

Related: why do mirages only appear on hot day? The title says it all: why does a mirage disappear as you approach it? The related question does not answer this.
161 views

### How far can you scatter light using a prism?

If I were to scatter light how far do you think it will disperse and what prism is the most effectively scatters light?
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### Full refraction in fibre optics

Well in a problem I had to calculate the maximum amount of "reflections" in a glass fibre optic pipe (index of refraction = 1.3, width of 20 micrometer and length of 1 meter). I am a bit blocked on ...
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### Shape of the rainbow

I have watched Walter Lewin's lecture(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QVbE_tU2sA) which was about the rainbows. But there is still a question bothering me. I understood the first part of the ...
1k views

### Effective Refractive Index

Can some one please explain in simple words that what is effective refractive index? How it is different from the refractive index? And how we can calculate the effective refractive index?
### How Does $\epsilon$ Relate to the Dampened Harmonic Motion of Electrons?
I realize that the permittivity $\epsilon$ of a substance is easily calculated based on diffraction angles, but I am not satisfied with merely measuring it experimentally. I wish to understand its ...