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

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1answer
263 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
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 ...
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4answers
21k views

Why do diamonds shine?

I have always wondered why diamonds shine. Can anyone tell me why?
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1answer
215 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
197 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
3k 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
53 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
400 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
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1answer
204 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
797 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 ...
2
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1answer
75 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
118 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
316 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 ?
2
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1answer
147 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
256 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
191 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
3k 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?
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3answers
2k views

Can anyone explain to me why light is not dispersed into a spectrum through a parallel glass slide, but only through a prism?

The question pretty much sums up what I need to know. Why is it that light only gets dispersed into a spectrum when travelling through two non-parallel sides(like a prism) and not through something ...
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2answers
58 views

Does the efficiency of radiation change in any way in the presence of a medium?

I've read that radiation doesn't really require a medium. But if you're taking, for example, the sun's light, then does its efficiency of transmission increase or decrease once it reaches the earth's ...
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2answers
298 views

About change in velocity of a light wave as it enters a different medium [closed]

$\dfrac {sin\theta1}{sin\theta2}=\dfrac {v1}{v2}=\dfrac {n2}{n1}$ I understand this equation, but what is the velocity of a light wave going through air and what is the velocity/change in velocity as ...
5
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2answers
32k views

Why does wavelength change as light enters a different medium?

When light waves enter a medium of higher refractive index than the previous, why is it that: Its wavelength decreases? The frequency of it has to stay the same?
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3answers
1k views

Why does change in speed of a wave make it refract?

When a light wave enters a medium with a higher refractive index (e.g. from air to standard glass) and its speed decreases, why does that make it refract/bend? I understand that wavelength decreases ...
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7answers
8k views

What determines color — wavelength or frequency?

What determines the color of light -- is it the wavelength of the light or the frequency? (i.e. If you put light through a medium other than air, in order to keep its color the same, which one would ...
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3answers
4k views

Clarification needed in the concept of apparent depth & real depth

I understood the concept of apparent depth from here: But one thing I didn't understand is, will there be difference in the real depth and apparent depth when we are looking not at an angle as ...
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6answers
2k views

Do photons have acceleration?

Photons travels with the largest speed in our universe, the speed of light. Do photons have acceleration?
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3answers
170 views

How does one determine whether an object will make an EM wave refract in a qualitative way?

for example, i have a vague notion that the actual answer is that the permittivity and permisivity are different in each different material, so all waves refract at every boundary, but we only call it ...
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1answer
975 views

reflection, refraction and diffraction occur in radio waves, which one occurs the most?

One of the things about Radio waves is that they undergo different behaviors such as reflection, refraction and diffraction when in contact with obstacles such as walls, buildings etc. what i want to ...
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2answers
825 views

Why do mirages only appear on hot days?

A previous question asked why the road sometimes appears wet on hot days. The reason is that when there's a temperature gradient in the air, it causes a gradient in the index of refraction, causing ...
2
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1answer
319 views

What happens to speed and frequency of a light beam moving in transparent medium when observed from different inertial frame of reference?

Suppose a transparent medium where speed of light is $c/n$, an inertial frame of reference $K$ which is stationary relatively to the medium and an inertial frame of reference $K'$ which is moving ...
2
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1answer
432 views

Snell's Law of Refraction

I was told that "Snell's law of refraction implies that a light ray in an isotropic medium travels from point a to point b in stationary time." Why is this true? Thanks.
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1answer
696 views

What do physicists mean when they say “speed of light”?

Does it make sense to say, "The speed of light varies?" Some may say right off the bat "Yes, it changes as a wave passes through a different medium." However, I'd like to say no, because when I hear ...
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2answers
301 views

Air vs Glass refraction coefficient

I have a rather strange question, let's say I can play with the temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions in a sealed room. What will I need to do to make the air's refraction coefficient ...
8
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6answers
3k views

Why does light change direction when it travels through glass?

This was explained to me many years ago, by a physics teacher, with the following analogy: "If someone on the beach wants to reach someone else that is in the water, they will try to travel as much ...
2
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0answers
142 views

Modeling a spray painted polyurethane surface reflection

I'm modeling light interaction/reflection from a fiberglass surface with polyurethane epoxy (that is very reflective) that has been spray painted with a matte black paint. I'm looking for some input ...
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1answer
321 views

Does coverslip thickness matter for high NA oil immersion objectives?

This question is related to Impact of covering glass on lens performance. I use a 63x TIRF objective with a numerical aperture of 1.46 and oil immersion. The immersion oil has an index of ...
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0answers
257 views

What defines the thickness of a Nomarski prism?

Lets say I want to design a Nomarski prism that would split the ordinary and extraordinary beam by an angle of 0.32 mrad. I used a raytracer to find the internal angle between the quartz wedges. ...
17
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3answers
2k views

What really cause light/photons to appear slower in media?

I know that if we solve the maxwell equation, we will end up with the phase velocity of light is related to the permeability and the permittivity of the material. But this is not what I'm interested ...
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2answers
287 views

Effect of gravitation on light

Einstein predicted that the gravitational force can act on light. This was verified in one solar eclipse that light from a star near to the sun's disc bent due to Sun's gravity as predicted. Since ...
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2answers
2k views

intensifying a light source

When trying to intensify a beam of light by refracting it through a lens, (as in a lighthouse fresnel system or similar railroad style switch lamp from years past), is the beam intensity increased by ...
2
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1answer
631 views

Refractive index of organic solvents in near-infrared

I wonder if the refractive index of acetone, ethanol, methanol, heptane was measured in the range above 830 nm. The site refractiveindex.info provides it only for visible, and I couldn't find any ...
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3answers
720 views

Can the speed of light become complex inside a metamaterial?

The speed of light in a material is defined as $c = \frac{1}{\sqrt{\epsilon \mu}}$. There are metamaterials with negative permittivity $\epsilon < 0$ and permeability $\mu < 0$ at the same time. ...
4
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1answer
491 views

The Interactions of Light and Matter

So basically, I was trying to find a good answer to the question of how light interacts matter. Namely on the quantum level what causes matter to appear transparent, reflective, opaque, etc I came ...
4
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3answers
552 views

Gravitational lensing or cloud refraction?

My current understanding of gravitational lensing follows When a star or other massive body passes between us and another star, the phenomenon generally labeled 'gravitational lensing' occurs. The ...
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1answer
887 views

What determines how much light is reflected and refracted?

I'm currently working on a physics-based puzzle game with light refraction. I've read about the reflection/refraction incidence ratio, and how it's the proportion of the sine values of the angle of ...
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3answers
869 views

Reconciling refraction with particle theory and wave theory

I have searched the web for good answers to why refraction occurs when light moves from one medium to another with different density. I have limited background in physics and want to know if there is ...
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4answers
4k views

Eyes open under water

Yesterday I looked underwater with my eyes open (and no goggles) and I realized I can't see anything clearly. Everything looks very, very blurry. My guess is that the eye needs direct contact with air ...
16
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2answers
3k views

How are classical optics phenomena explained in QED (Snell's law)?

How is the following classical optics phenomenon explained in quantum electrodynamics? Reflection and Refraction Are they simply due to photons being absorbed and re-emitted? How do we get to ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Reflected and refracted wave sphased

When we derive refraction and reflection laws for a generical plane wave on a surface, we say that reflected and refracted must be in phase with the incident wave. Why a medium cannot do a sphased ...
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2answers
4k views

How does a photon travel through glass?

This was discussed in an answer to a related question but I think that it deserves a separate and, hopefully, more clear answer. Consider a single photon ($\lambda$=532 nm) traveling through a plate ...