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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
2answers
492 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
584 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
257 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
263 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
901 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
votes
3answers
165 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
275 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
vote
2answers
183 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
561 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
382 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
153 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 $n(y)$ ...
1
vote
2answers
312 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
votes
1answer
292 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
398 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
242 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
43 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
296 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
321 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
1k 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
3k 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
344 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
3k 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
351 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
825 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
1k 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
309 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
386 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
179 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
5k 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
1k 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
152 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
154 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
2k 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
664 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
168 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
677 views

Why does the index of refraction change the direction of light?

I've been studying in optics the macroscopic maxwell's equations, and how electromagnetic fields propagate through different mediums. Over there, the index of refraction appears, as a complex function ...
10
votes
5answers
23k 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
793 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
30 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
2k 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
517 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
679 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
4answers
1k 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
873 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
423 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
674 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
440 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 ...