# Tagged Questions

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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 ...
56 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 ...
54 views

### 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?
89 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 ...
39 views

### 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 ...
36 views

### 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?
70 views

### 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 ...
120 views

### 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 ...
34 views

### 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 ...
96 views

### 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 ...
49 views

### 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 ...
47 views

### 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 ...
105 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 ...
128 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 ...
577 views

### 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 ...
102 views

### 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 ...
116 views

### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
117 views

### 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 ...
102 views

### 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 $n(y)$ ...
148 views

### 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 ...
109 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.
111 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Reflections in a glass of water

I've noticed that if you take a full glass of water and look from above, through the water, you can't see through the glass sides - instead, you see a reflection. I tried with a laser pointer and the ...
173 views

### Simple Question: Speed of Electromagnetic Waves in a Medium

If the speed of an electromagnetic wave in a particular medium is such that $v = c$, the speed of light, does this mean that the permeability $\mu = \mu_0$, i.e. that of a vacuum and the index of ...
101 views

### Perfectly focusing refractive surface

On reading Feynman's lecture on physics, in the geometrical optics section he said that a curve which focuses all the rays coming from a point to another fixed point beyond the refracting surface ...
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### Penetration of light in the atmosphere

While I was considering an answer to this question, I wondered how much light that enters the atmosphere reaches the ground without colliding with air moleculesâ€”if any. I've taken a good bit of ...
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### Apparent and real depth object in water [closed]

Did I get my formula right? Seems like the correct answer is $d_o = 1.33 \times d_i$ but I thought the formula I should use is $d_i = - \frac{n_2}{n_1} d_o$
349 views

### Physical explanation for why total internal reflection occurs

I have been trying to understand total internal reflection (and have read several posts on this site already). Mathematically, I feel that I understand how the evanescent wave decays exponentially as ...
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### How much refraction occurs as a fraction of all reflection and refraction?

When light reaches a boundary between materials below the critical angle, some of it refracts and some of it reflects. For example, glass acts as a partial mirror with a dark background. Assuming ...
314 views

### Why does light not refract when incidented perpendicularly?

I had read that light does slow down in glass because photons interact with atoms in glass. They are absorbed and re-emitted and during this phenomenon it's speed decreases. See also this and this ...
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### Speed of Light in a Medium [duplicate]

For light travelling in a medium with refractive index greater than one: The "average" speed of light is slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. As far as I know, the instantaneous speed of light ...
290 views

### Goldfish perspective

What does the world look like from the Goldfish point of view, from inside a spherical aquarium? If our eyes were inside, would we be able to see the straight lines, focus on different objects and ...
590 views

### How do “holographic plates” work?

I asked a question about laser stage lighting over at Audio Video Production, and received an excellent answer that explained that laser clusters are generated from a single beam via something called ...
273 views

### Effect of gas or liquid within a compound lens system

Hi my question is if a compound lens system if filled with gas or a liquid how does it affect the system when compared to the lens system being separated by air alone. Does this affect the focal power ...
607 views

### Photon energy - momentum in matter

$E = h\nu$ and $P = h\nu/c$ in vacuum. If a photon enters water, it's frequency $\nu$ doesn't change. What are its energy and momentum : $h\nu$ ? and $h\nu/c$ ? Since part of it's energy and momentum ...
287 views

### Difference in velocity of light in change in medium [duplicate]

It is often seen that according to physics the light changes it's velocity according to the medium through which it is traveling. So can it be explained that why so happen?
89 views

### Determine when a light is going into the object [closed]

Please look at this image: (http://mypages.iit.edu/~smart/acadyear/refract.gif) How can I determine when light is going into the object? Actually, if there is, what is the simplest way to ...
180 views

### Width of Gaussian Beam and Refractive Index

I know that in free space, the width of a Gaussian beam can be written as $W=W_0\sqrt{1+(\frac{z}{z_0})^{2}}$. However, I was wondering if it was possible to express this width as a function of ...
384 views

### Why do rainbows have distinct colors?

When I searched on the Internet for the reason of formation of rainbows, I got many explanations like this one & this. All the explanations consider only one spherical water droplet (like this ...
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### How can I estimate the elasto-optic coefficients ($p_{11}$ and $p_{12}$) of a material?

I am attempting to estimate the elasto-optic coefficients ($p_{11}$ and $p_{12}$) of $\mathrm{TiO}_2$ and $\mathrm{ZrO}_2$, where $p_{11}$ and $p_{12}$ refer to the elements of a strain-optic tensor ...
700 views

### What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
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### In electro-optic material, what is happening to the structure of the material for the index of refraction to change?

I apologize if electro-optic material is not the correct word. As I understand it, when an electric field is applied to an electro-optic material, the index of refraction changes in proportion to the ...
298 views

### Speed of light is not fixed? [closed]

In my research, I found that the speed of light is not fixed. IS it true? Namely, We know that light refracts when the medium it travels through changes. Actually, light travels in the same medium ...
3k views

### How to bend light?

As we all know that light travels in rectilinear motion. But can we bend light in parabolic path? If not practically then is it possible in paper? Has anyone succeeded in doing that practically ?