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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 start changing its path at the boundary of two media of different optical densities? Why no deviation occurs at normal incidence? How do you visualize the bending happening?

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicates: physics.stackexchange.com/q/13652/2451 , physics.stackexchange.com/q/97894/2451 , physics.stackexchange.com/q/2041/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Apr 19 '15 at 18:56
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    $\begingroup$ Did you look at wikipedia pages of the issue, such as this? $\endgroup$ Apr 19 '15 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. But I have not yet managed to find the most satisfactory answer. $\endgroup$ Apr 19 '15 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could be more explicit about what you feel isn't covered in the answer to the questions that Qmechanics points out. They are pretty complete. (The QED question is where to look for help with the particle view---which is difficult unless you are highly conversant with the core concepts of quantum field theories). $\endgroup$ Apr 19 '15 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ I have not learned QED or Quantum Optics. I needed an explanation where both the wave and particle standpoint meet in sync. But I guess I have found it. $\endgroup$ Apr 19 '15 at 20:42
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Here is how I would visualize it. As the particles of light hit the boundary, the light scatters slightly. The scattering begins along the surface of the boundary, so that the surface of boundary creates a pattern of light. That is why the wavelength changes, its a side effect of being absorbed and re-emitted. Note that its really refraction, of course, not scattering, but I believe the principles are the same.

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