Change in the direction of propagation of a wave when its transmitting medium changes.

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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?
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3answers
276 views

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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3answers
525 views

Two different mediums can have equal index of refraction?

In other words: given a certain medium, is light's phase velocity unique?
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2answers
499 views

What makes radio waves refract?

What materials cause radio waves to refract? What are the radio IOR's of these materials?
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1answer
233 views

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 ...
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1answer
218 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 ...
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1answer
125 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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3answers
2k views

Why do prisms work (why is refraction frequency dependent)?

It is well known that a prism can "split light" by separating different frequencies of light: Many sources state that the reason this happens is that the index of refraction is different for ...
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2answers
516 views

Refraction of light and frequency dependence

Why do higher frequency waves refract more, both ocean waves and light waves? Also why is energy stored in the frequency as opposed to the wavelength.
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2answers
115 views

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 molecules—if any. I've taken a good bit of ...
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1answer
109 views

Relation of color and frequency for the visible spectrum

In this question the OP is looking for a way to see light that is outside of the visible spectrum without using electronic sensors. This got me wondering about the visible spectrum itself. Typically ...
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1answer
375 views

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 $d_i = - \frac{n_2}{n_1} d_o$
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2answers
515 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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1answer
117 views

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 ...
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4answers
9k views

Why frequency doesn't change during refraction?

When light goes through one medium to another it's velocity and wavelength changes. Why frequency doesn't change in this phenomenon?
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2answers
464 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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0answers
19 views

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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Does light change color on its way through a window? [duplicate]

Looking at the refractive index of glass, it's around $1.6$. Then the speed of light $x$ through light should be given by $$ 1.6 = \frac{3.0\times10^8}{x}, $$ so $x$ is about ...
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1answer
323 views

Refraction seismology - travel time for wave

I am taking an introductory class in seismology, but have some difficulties understanding the logic behind the formula used to calculate the time it takes for a refracted wave to return to the surface ...
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2answers
386 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 ...
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3answers
756 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 ...
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2answers
342 views

Colors in the secondary rainbow reverse of that in the primary rainbow

Why the colors of Secondary rainbow is reverse of that in the color in the Primary rainbow? What can be the possible reason among the following options Because it is formed by one internal ...
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2answers
318 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 ...
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0answers
530 views

Question about the refraction of light in a swimming pool

Here is a homework question that I'm having a hard time understanding: Out of pure intellectual curiosity you have donned a snorkeling face mask and allowed yourself to sink to the bottom of the ...
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0answers
319 views

Nonlinear refraction index of vacuum above Schwinger limit

This question is more about trying to feel the waters in our current abilities to compute (or roughly estimate) the refraction index of vacuum, specifically when high numbers of electromagnetic quanta ...
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1answer
87 views

Idea of precursors of the electro-magnetic waves

The idea of the material Maxwell equation is almost clear. But I'm curious about the idea that except for material equation the pure Maxwell equation should work, but in harder sense: more currents ...
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1answer
544 views

Is it possible to increase refractive index at lower densities?

Are there any materials for which the refractive index decreases with density? It seems that for most materials we would expect there to be a positive correlation between density and refractive index, ...
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1answer
2k views

Index of Refraction

The scenario: A ray of light strikes the center of the (a) flat surface and (b) curved surface of a semicircular glass medium with the angle of incidences in degrees of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50. The ...
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2answers
294 views

Refractive index inside a fibre

The refractive index $n$ of a fibre is calculated as; $$ n = c_0/c_m $$ Where $c_0\approx 300000km/s$ is the speed of light in a vacuum, and $c_m$ is the speed of light in the fibre in question. How ...
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2answers
806 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 ...
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0answers
73 views

Energy distribution between long- and shearwaves after refraction of sound

From this explanation, I learn that sound is refracted according to Snell's Law upon passing a border between materials of different sound speed. I also learn that upon passing the border, a mode ...
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3answers
417 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?
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1answer
352 views

Refraction and Reflection Seismology

So I am wondering if I got the difference right. Both methods use explosives to send waves into the earth's surface. Now reflection seismology tries to get information from the reflected waves; the ...
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1answer
93 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 ...
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4answers
25k views

Why do diamonds shine?

I have always wondered why diamonds shine. Can anyone tell me why?
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1answer
249 views

Speed of light and virtual particles

After becoming extremely bored while studying for an Afrikaans exam, I started thinking about virtual particles. So, can light (photons) interact with virtual particles (even though they only exist ...
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1answer
239 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 ...
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2answers
4k views

Refraction, reflection, and what is total reflection?

So if light travels from one media to another with a different refraction index, what may happen happen? Refraction, reflection or total reflection? I am quite confused as to the differences between ...
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0answers
56 views

Planar Electric Field in Glass, how to express it?

The field must have properties such as planar wave and moving in glass so $$\bar E=E \left( \hat i t + \hat j \sin(kz-wt) + ...
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3answers
446 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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1answer
232 views

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 ...
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1answer
914 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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1answer
80 views

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 ...
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1answer
127 views

Is the acceleration and deceleration of a wave instantanious?

When an light travels in free space, it has a velocity of propagation equal to the speed of light. However, then the light enters a medium with a refractive index of n, the velocity of propagation ...
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1answer
361 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 ...
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5answers
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 ?
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1answer
150 views

Calculating a Deflection of Light Integral from Einstein's 1907 paper on Gravity and Light

$\frac{1}{c^2}\int_{\theta=-\pi/2}^{\theta=\pi/2} \frac{kM}{r^2}cos\theta ds=2\frac{kM}{c^2\Delta}$ An observation: $\cos\theta=\frac{\Delta}{r}$
3
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1answer
277 views

Fermat principle: which index of refraction?

I am somewhat puzzled by a common formulation of the Fermat principle (light travel time), because it contains index of refraction related to phase velocity while light travel time through a slab of ...
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5answers
206 views

Light refraction and causality

One way how to look at refraction by a dielectric medium like water or glass is that (phase) velocity of light decreases because it is the wavelength rather than the frequency of the light which ...
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6answers
4k views

Is it possible to witness a circular rainbow?

What conditions would make it possible to see a naturally occurring fully 360° circular rainbow? Would it even be possible?