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

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2
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1answer
180 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.
2
votes
3answers
320 views

Problem on apparent height of postage stamp underneath paperweight

A postage stamp is placed on a surface and a glass cube of refractive index $1.5$ is placed over it. When observed through the cube, the stamp appears at a height of $1.5cm$ from the bottom of the ...
2
votes
2answers
164 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?
1
vote
1answer
37 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

Refraction of light in water

Here's a question in a paper based on refraction of light. I can't seem to solve it for some reason. A man looks down at a fish length of 20 cm. His eye is 2m above the surface of the water ...
6
votes
1answer
616 views

How does sun light after it has passed window's pane still heat me up?

I believe it is so because most of photons' energy has successfully passed the glass. But is it so? And how can I roughly estimate part of light's energy which will pass obstacles like glass? And how ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some materials reflect (metals) and other materials reflect and refract (glass) from the quantum perspective?

Recently I was asked to explain the difference between reflection and total internal reflection from a purely conceptual standpoint (no math). Let me explain what I already know. Reflection and ...
3
votes
2answers
271 views

Photons-Wave/particle duality

I know that photons and electrons and such are said to have a wave particle duality, but what does that mean for a photon? When light strikes an object, are many photons emitted, enough to draw ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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?
2
votes
3answers
283 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
553 views

Two different mediums can have equal index of refraction?

In other words: given a certain medium, is light's phase velocity unique?
1
vote
2answers
567 views

What makes radio waves refract?

What materials cause radio waves to refract? What are the radio IOR's of these materials?
2
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
226 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
556 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.
2
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
442 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 $d_i = - \frac{n_2}{n_1} d_o$
4
votes
2answers
532 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
10k 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?
1
vote
2answers
487 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
349 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
406 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
778 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
390 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
320 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
537 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
320 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
568 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, ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
297 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
836 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
437 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?
0
votes
1answer
376 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 ...
-1
votes
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
26k views

Why do diamonds shine?

I have always wondered why diamonds shine. Can anyone tell me why?
1
vote
1answer
251 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
251 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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) + ...
8
votes
3answers
454 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
243 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 ...