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

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39
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5answers
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If a lens focuses all incoming light to a point, how do we get 2D images?

How do lenses produce 2-dimensional images, if a lens bends all incoming rays of light to intersect at the focal point? Shouldn't this produce a single dot of light on a screen placed at the focal ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Difference in Light's speed in various mediums [duplicate]

Light, despite not needing a medium and traveling due to oscillations of the electric and magnetic fields, slows down in mediums such as glass. I used to think it intuitively made sense, as we ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Why is rainbow always circular?

From the article that I read on physics classroom website on rainbow, rainbow is formed with red on the top and violet on the bottom because violet refracts more, and has a smaller angle of deviation ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Refraction of white light through a glass slab: what does it actually look like?

When a collimated beam of white light enters a rectangular prism, it develops slightly coloured edges due to the dispersive refraction of the glass: each ray in the beam is displaced differently ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Does the order in which light comes into a rectangular prism affect its dispersion?

I read about how when light comes out of a rectangular prism, there are violet and red fringes on either side of the light spectrum. The website didn't give the specifics in this subject, so I am not ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

How light splits up into different colours when passed through prism using QED?

I want to know how light gets splits up into different colours when it is passed through prism? How light interacts with atoms and electrons of the prism? Can someone explain this to me using Quantum ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the index of refraction different for different wavelengths? [duplicate]

The index of refraction can be written as $$n=\frac{\lambda_v}{\lambda_m}$$ where $\lambda_v$ is the wavelength in a vacuum and $\lambda_m$ is the wavelength in the medium. I’ve been told that since ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Can we measure the height of clouds using the sunset?

I was watching the sun set in San Francisco. As the Earth turns away from the Sun the tallest buildings remain lit longest. Light bending in the atmosphere allows this to last a bit longer. So, what ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Do neutrinos refract?

The most benign of interactions is refraction. While neutrinos rarely interact with matter in a sense like the photoelectric effect, does that mean that they don't refract either?
0
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1answer
108 views

How is light slowing down in a medium thought of in the photon picture? [duplicate]

The speed of light in any medium besides vacuum is smaller than $c$. In a classical way, I just look at that as a wave that propagates less fast, the change in EM-field is passed on slower. How should ...
3
votes
1answer
338 views

Why do we use the index of refraction for yellow light?

When we do problems with optics and refraction, we’re usually given a set of indices of refraction to work with; for example, the index of refraction in air is about 1.00, the index of refraction in ...
0
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0answers
108 views

How to actually determine the Index of Refraction of an object in different colors of light?

I would like some guidance as to how the IOR of an object is determined in different colored lights. Taking for example diamond, I know that the base IOR is 2.417, and the respective wavelengths of ...
3
votes
0answers
102 views

False sunset and false sunrise time estimation

False sunset and false sunrise are described . Here is a sample day rise and set time according to AccuWheather site and calculated value of sunrise and sunset in my country. Could you please help ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there a formula to calculate the deviated angle of a ray passing through a prism?

I'm assuming the angle of incidence to be the number of degrees from a perpendicular line on the side of a prism the ray starts passing through... I'm trying to figure out the angle the ray would be ...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

Using a transfer matrix to calculate beam width of off-axis Gaussian beam?

I have been reading a lot about ABCD matrices that are used for ray tracing. I can calculate the output offset $r_{o}$ (with respect to the optical axis) and the angle $\theta$ of the ray by $$ ...
1
vote
3answers
150 views

The speed of light/EM waves in vacuum; as if there was another one in non-vacuum?

Q1: is there a speed of a photon other than in "vacuum"? Q2: isn't "speed of light in vacuum" misleading? If I understand, that light moves with speed of light until there is "something in between" ...
0
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0answers
32 views

What are the physical optical limitations photonic metamaterials can offer?

Modern technology has introduced new photonic metamaterials that can extend optical properties beyond what standard materials can offer. For example a negative index of refraction is now possible ...
0
votes
1answer
426 views

Conditions for having refractive index less than unity?

Is it possible to have an index of refraction, $n < 1$, giving the "illusion" of a speed greater than $c$. As far as I understand it, is only the phase-velocity (which does not carry any ...
0
votes
0answers
98 views

Why does pencil appear bent in water?

I know why: refraction. But I can't find a detailed explanation anywhere online. So I just asked. This is the most detailed image I can find, on physics classroom. But don't we see thing only when ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Is there a name for the squared refractive index?

In studying wave propagation through multilayers, the squared refractive index $n^2$ is a more pertinent parameter than $n$ itself. Is there a received name for $n^2$? Of course, as long as there is ...
-1
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1answer
44 views

Why don't p-type seismic waves propagate along straight lines in the lower mantle?

Can you tell me why seismic waves (p-type shock wave) passing through the earth's lower mantle don't propagate along straight lines in particular?
-1
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1answer
97 views

Why we don't observe spherical rainbow?

We have seen or heard of rainBOW and circular rainbow but not any other shape probably due to the shape of water droplets. My question is why can't we see a spherical rainbow?
1
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1answer
226 views

Why does a panel of glass appear translucent when viewed from the edge?

Why does this happen? From the 'front' of the panel, the glass appears transparent. But viewed from the 'edges', it appears translucent...
0
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2answers
171 views

Optical path difference

I have question about calculating optical path difference. $$\Delta L = \mathrm{(BC+CD)}\cdot n_2 - \textrm{BF}\cdot n_1$$ - why calculating path difference here we are subtracting $\mathrm{BF}$ ...
38
votes
4answers
5k views

Do rainbows have ultraviolet bands and infrared bands?

We have seen that rainbows looks so colorful as we are only able to see only the visible light. But Do they also have ultraviolet bands and infra-red bands, that we are unable to see? I know someone ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Odd order of colour fringes around cloud

The other day I took this photograph of a thundercloud that moved between myself and the sun. Around the edge of the cloud there were some coloured fringes that I first took to be a variant on a ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Position dependent refractive index [duplicate]

How to determine the angle of refraction when the medium has position dependent refraction index? Lets say that the angle of incidence on the glassy slab is $\theta_1$ and the ray goes through the ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Do the mediums decrease or increase the speed of light? (source to target) [duplicate]

If sun is the source of light then is it possible that the speed of light might increase depending on the mediums its going through or its not possible.
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Is true black possible?

Black is the absence of light because it absorbs light, but when we create black paint or black objects, light is always reflected, either in all directions in matte or smoothly in shiny black ...
0
votes
2answers
182 views

Could time dilation bend the path of a photon? Does time dilation have a refractive index?

The main question I am getting at is, does time dilation have a refractive index? What I mean is, if I were to shoot a laser past a black hole, would the laser's path "bend" strictly from time ...
1
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0answers
26 views

optical homogeneity of organic thin films

Prior to further analysis (like variable angle ellipsometric spectroscopy) I check thin films of organic materials vacuum deposited on glass substrates for their optical homogeneity under lineraly ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Rainbows at other wavelengths

I'm curious as to whether or not it is possible to have a rainbow at wavelengths other than visible light. I'm familiar with Snell's refraction law and why it is that they occur, but now what about ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Is refraction of light a thermodynamic process?

Is refraction of light a thermodynamic process? Can it be explained by conservation of energy? If so, does temperature has an effect on refraction of light?
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Light follows the shortest path, but to where?

I'm a high school student and I'm trying to understand why waves bend when they refract. I read a few answers on the site, and the explanation that they follow the shortest path makes sense enough to ...
4
votes
3answers
262 views

Is it true that all particles that have a speed less than the speed of light must also have mass?

I've previously learned that massive particles cannot achieve the speed of light. But recently I read that, concerning the gels that refract and bounce light within around enough that it can travel ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

For a light of given frequency, what does the amount of refraction in a variable medium depends upon?

I want to know whether the amount of refraction of a given monochromatic light depends solely upon the density of the of the medium ( increase the density to increase the angle of refraction), or ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

Determining the path of a light ray

Let's consider a ray in the plane $xy$. Let the refractive index be defined in any point of the plane with the function $n(x,y)$. In time $t=0$ the ray is located in coordinates $(x_0, y_0)$ and its ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Why the image is being formed at the surface?

Last week I encountered a very cool optical phenomenon. A photo was sandwiched between the two glass plate to make the paperweight. The cool part is the picture seems to have been pasted on the top ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

How does light manage to change its course at the boundary of two media of different optical densities?

This is a conceptual question. I already know the law of refraction but I need something like an idea of the Physical process from both particle and wave theory standpoints. Why does a ray of light ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Wave interference on window film coating

"The windows in an office tower are coated with a film to minimize reflected light of wavelength 550 nm. If the glass has an index of refraction of 1.52 and the film coating has an index of refraction ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

What is incorrect about the original statement of Fermat's principle?

Here are some statements about Fermat's Principle taken from Eugene Hecht's Optics book. The original statement of Fermat's Principle : "The actual path between two points taken by a ray of light is ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Earth curvature refraction for dummies

I keep being presented with 'earth curvature experiment' videos recently, by flat/concave earth advocates. It seems to be their favorite "evidence" that Earth is not spherical. Debunking this gets ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

Difference between speed of light and of bullet after passing through a barrier [duplicate]

I just read that, when a ray of light traveling in vacuum at $c$ strikes a glass slab, its speed decreases and then when it re-emerges it gets back to its original speed i.e $c$. If I draw a ...
5
votes
2answers
308 views

Determining the refractive index of a foil

(59th Polish Olympiad in Physics, final stage, experimental part, 2010) You have at your disposal: a sample of blue foil of a homogeneous material, placed between two glass panes in a ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does red light travel faster than blue light?

I know that light of all frequencies travel at the same speed in vacuum. But I wonder why their speed differ in any other medium, why does red light travel faster if it has less energy than blue ...
4
votes
1answer
243 views

What causes these rainbow effects using a polarizing filter on an airplane?

I know that light reflected from a surface at 45° is polarized and that for a similar reason skylight arriving from a direction orthogonal to the sun is polarized too. Photographers make use of this ...
-1
votes
2answers
325 views

Does the speed of light have a range of speeds due to medium-dependency?

An EM particle-wave propagates in a vacuum at a constant speed $c$, independent of the source/receiver but dependent on most mediums it moves through. Since the vacuum is a medium, and if logically ...
0
votes
1answer
240 views

Metal Refractive index

I'm working on Fresnel equation for calculation of reflection of a light (532 nm) on Iron. I've got a question: Is metals refractive index always a real number or it can be a complex number?
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0answers
47 views

Model of scattering in wet things

You know that clothes and some surfaces become darker when wet (covered in an earlier question: why wet is dark?), because of the disordered reflections or of the refractive index of water or ...
1
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1answer
196 views

Refraction of light marching band analogy

When trying to understand the refraction of light when it hits a slower medium, lots of people seem to be enlightened by the 'marching band' or 'marching soldiers' analogy, which 'explains' that when ...