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

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2answers
363 views

Can two media have same refractive indices?

Can two mediums placed under same conditions* ever have same refractive indices? *Pressure, temperature,etc.
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2answers
137 views

Air bubble inside glass

A convex glass lens acts as a converging lens when the medium around it is, say, air which is rarer than glass. But what happens if a "convex air lens" is inside a glass medium? Does it act like a ...
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2answers
261 views

On what refractive index of medium depends ? [duplicate]

does the refractive index of a medium depends on wavelength of light passing through it ? If yes then why ?
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1answer
45 views

Refraction problem - limiting radius of observation

I solved this problem but I don't know if the solution is correct. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. There are two mediums, 1 and 2, with absolute refraction indexes $n_1$ < $n_2$, and an observer ...
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1answer
118 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
309 views

Theoretically if you passed the speed of light in a medium, would there be a sonic boom equivalent?

I know that it is technically impossible to reach the speed of light in vacuum since the mass of the object traveling would reach infinity. However in a medium, would there be some sort of theoretical ...
2
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1answer
721 views

How does a one-sided glass work?

How does a one-sided glass work? If seen from the outer side, we can see through thinking it is transparent, while if seen from the inside, the glass acts as a mirror. How?
2
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2answers
102 views

Can we see refraction of light in the air with our eyes?

Can we see refraction of light in the air with our eyes? I am asking that because every night I see that the light in the street moving little is that because of change in the air? I do not mean ...
2
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1answer
280 views

Index of Refraction in Metal: Approximating Complex Perturbation

If you consider waves in a metal, you can write the index of refraction for the metal as, $$ n^2 = 1 - \frac{\omega_p^2}{\omega^2} $$ I am interested in what will happen if the index is perturbed by ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Where / what is the source of the force that causes refraction?

So we know that as light moves from, say, a glass block to air, it speeds up and refracts, but if there is to be acceleration then surely there must be a resultant force to cause it? So where does ...
0
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1answer
106 views

What does non magnetic and nonconducting mean in reflection and transmission of waves?

So, we were ask to consider the Fresnel Equations for parallel and perpendicular waves (with index of refractions). Then, we are ask to prove some equations in which "... for nonmagnetic ...
3
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
2
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1answer
85 views

Speed of different em radiation in a medium

Does all frequency of light travel with the same speed in a particular material like glass? Since by cauchy's relation refractive index change with wavelength which implies the speed also changes. ...
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0answers
34 views

How much can a thin layer of hi-speed material within a low-speed volume block a wave due to total internal reflection?

Consider a block of isotropic material with compression wave velocity associated with it, $v_1$. Consider a thin flat layer of high compression wave velocity $v_2, v_2>v_1$ that is buried within ...
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1answer
280 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?
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1answer
196 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 ...
0
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1answer
171 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
115 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?
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2answers
97 views

Does the speed of light in different mediums affect the lorentz transformation?

We know that the Lorentz transformation is derived using the speed of light in vacuum. But if we were to use it in water, would it change since the speed of light in water should also remain constant ...
8
votes
1answer
78 views

Do we have 2 minutes of extra morning?

my physics teacher told me about the refraction and its applications one of them was 2 minutes of early sunrise and after she explained this effect she concluded that days are 2 minutes longer than ...
2
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3answers
157 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 ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Looking for the actual reason of refraction explained precisely without analogies

I'm a high school teacher trying to teach my students (15year olds) about refraction. I've seen a lot of good analogies to explain why the light changes direction, like the marching band analogy, that ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Wave equation in varying mediums

I recently stumbled upon the above image describing partial transmittance, and was wondering what sort of equation would model such a wave propagating through varying mediums. Is there also an ...
0
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3answers
287 views

Refraction through prism

We know that the light gets refracted when it enter a medium low/high refractive index. But why light is not refracted when it comes out from the vertex of a prism.
3
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1answer
360 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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1answer
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
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1answer
72 views

Question about the refraction of Fresnel lenses

If you line up the suns rays parallel to a Fresnel lens, the light is concentrated, and the focus directly underneath. However, what happens if the sun is off to the side, making the light hit at an ...
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votes
4answers
5k views

Real and imaginary parts of dielectric constant vs refractive index?

So for a complex dielectric constant $\epsilon = \epsilon_a + i\epsilon_b$, the wave vector and index of refraction are related to it through $k = \frac{\omega}{c}n$ and $n = \sqrt{\frac{\mu ...
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1answer
334 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
85 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
159 views

Is light slower when traveling inside a gravity field?

This question is not about phase velocity changed which causes refraction, but about the real time itself being slower by the gravity of any object (from general relativity). If so, would this mean ...
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2answers
73 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a theoretical maximum for refractive index?

May there be materials yet to be discovered which may have a higher refractive index than today's known materials (for wavelengths within the visible range)? Is there a theoretical limit for the ...
8
votes
2answers
471 views

Do photons age in a medium?

According to special relativity, time starts to slow down as we increase our speed and eventually stops once we get to the speed of light. By that logic, photons don't age in a vacuum state as, to us, ...
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1answer
194 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 ...
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4answers
533 views

Why is the speed of light considered as a fundamental constant if its speed changes with medium resulting in refraction? [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light, the universal constant of gravitation and the Planck's constant are considered to be the three fundamental constants of the universe. But, why is speed of light ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why would an object appear a different size when in 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 ...
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vote
2answers
238 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Anisotropic refractive index with isotropic components?

In relation to my question here I wanted to make sure that my physical argument was not flawed. Anisotropic properties, (especially refractive index) is characteristic of a well-ordered solid ...
4
votes
3answers
857 views

Real image with converging lens?

I read in a AQA GCSE book that: A real image is formed by the converging lens if the object is further away from the principal focus/focal point. I did this experiment in class: Here is my ...
2
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3answers
157 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
1
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2answers
169 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
486 views

Why does the light at the bottom of the pool form this awesome pattern?

Take a look at the following picture: Why does the light at the bottom of the water form this pattern? I have also seen the same phenomenon in all the swimming pools I've ever visited, of whatever ...
2
votes
1answer
352 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 ...
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0answers
139 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 $n(y)$ ...
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2answers
302 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 ...
2
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1answer
272 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.