# Questions tagged [refraction]

Change in the direction of propagation of a wave when its transmitting medium changes. The tag does also apply to index of refraction.

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### Does the color of the refractive medium affect its index of refraction?

Does the color of the refractive medium affect its index of refraction? I want to determine the refractive index of different colors of jello. By keeping as many controlled variables as possible (...
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### How pure are the colors of the rainbow?

I just watched this lecture on rainbows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKUSWJWMSk4 and in it I found out that the colors in the rainbow are not monochromatic. At any point in a rainbow there is a ...
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### Does level of pollution determine if a rainbow will be formed?

Today I saw a rainbow after almost a decade. I live in Noida (a city) in India. Most people I know believe that: we don't see rainbows nowadays because of pollution and now after nearly 3 months since ...
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### Physics - angle? [closed]

A ray of light passes from water through a plate of crown glass and on to air. The angle of incidence in the water is 40.0 °. What then is the angle of refraction in the glass?
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### Do you know any good animations for visualization of different cases of image formation for Convex/Concave mirror and Converging/Diverging lens? [closed]

I'm struggling to remember(for my test) different cases of image formation for the Convex/Concave mirror and Converging/Diverging lens? There are so many things to remember like where are the image ...
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### Why do we have to include sign while calculating image position due to refraction by a lens? [closed]

When we calculate image position due to reflection by a curved mirror or due to refraction by a lens, we have to include the sign of the object's position. However, while deriving the equations that ...
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### Does Heisenberg uncertainty affect Snells law?

Assuming an ideal single frequency plane wave, we can determine the angle of retraction for the light beam. But the more I make my pulse shorter, the less certain I am in the frequency and thus the ...
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### Image formation by convex lens

If an image of an object formed by convex lens is simply meeting of the rays of the object due to refraction,then why do we require a screen to reflect these refracted rays?If we observe the image ...
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### Pointing a laser to a mirror on the moon in spite of refraction by earth's atmosphere

I was reading that the Apollo missions left a laser reflector (Mirror) on the moon for scientific use. Having read some of the controversy here and elsewhere about lasers being affected by refraction ...
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### Image formation by refraction

The image formation by convex lens is due to retraction.The rays bend and hence appear the come from a different point rather than an object,which is called an image.In the image attached below,the ...
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### Snells Law question [closed]

My nephew asked me to help him on his physics homework. I'm alright as physics, but it is by no means a strong point (it's been a looooooong time since I did any physics). He was presented with this ...
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### Critical Angle Formula

The formula is given by $n=\frac{1}{\sin(C)}$, $n$ is the refractive index of the denser medium, C is the critical angle. From this formula, it seems to be that we are substituting the angle of ...
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### How does a non-infinite monochromatic plane ray of light know which way to refract?

I have been making a simulation of light traveling in medium from classical physics perspective and while trying to makes sence of a traveling wave packet i realized i don't understand something very ...
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### Finding the Focal Length of a Thick, Plano-Convex Lens

The lens maker's formula takes into account the thickness of a lens. However, if one surface is planar, its focal length should be infinite. But that means that with the below formula, the thickness ...
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### Bandgap and refractive index of semiconductor

If we take semiconductor material with larger bandgap energy how will its refractive index change? Can we get a quantitative analysis to study that variation?
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### Actual meaning of refraction of light

The definition of refraction which I found on wikipedia is In physics, refraction is the change in direction of a wave passing from one medium to another or from a gradual change in the medium. ...
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### Optical shift in a view from above

In the following case, two objects are moving to each other from two different media: Apparently, the distance between the two, at this moment, is not the sum of $6$ and $0.8$, but involves dividing ...
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### What role does bulk of a prism play in dispersion?

I know that a prism deviates light because the refractive index of glass is a function of the wavelength of light used. However what role does bulk of the prism play in dispersion? i.e only the ...
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### Is it possible to simulate a high index of refraction

I am trying to demonstrate the effect of index of refraction on light speed to a high school class. As with all adolescents, if a story does not have extreme impact, it does not register (hence the ...
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### How does Huygens' principle explain refraction?

I am told that one of the merits of Huygens' principle is that it could explain refraction, however, in the argument given in my textbook it seems flawed. This seems like a totally idealised scenario ...
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### Physical meaning of conductor refractive index

While looking at some data on refractiveindex.info I noticed something odd about the listed refractive indices they provided. For dielectrics they are as one would expect, but for a conductor, say ...
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### Why do matter waves show refraction? / Why does wavelength change when a particle enters a medium?

I know why electromagnetic waves show refraction but matter waves? I found this in section 2-5 in “An Introduction to Quantum Physics” by French and Taylor while reading about Davison and germer ...
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### If photon is is emitted in random direction then how does a lens work?

If the absorbed and then emitted photon is a radial wave that later collapses to a random direction (when measured / received) then how does an optical lens work? Can you explain in layman terms (...
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### What is aperture of a lens?

I read that aperture of a lens is the surface from which refraction takes place and it is represented by the diameter of the lens. So, by saying that the aperture refers to the surface from which ...
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### Parabolic speaker dish diameter

I am trying to design a parabolic speaker to allow an audio signal to be emitted in only a single direction. For a single acoustic tone with wavelength $w$, what should the diameter of the reflector ...
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### How does the car analogy explain refraction of light?

Today, my Physics teacher explained the cause of refraction by using the car analogy It goes like this : Suppose a car is moving on a concrete road and obliquely enters some mud. Now, one of the ...
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### Reflection off of reflections in silvered glass slabs

Our instructor told us about this phenomenon: The back of the glass slab is silvered, and M' is the front-shifted image of the silvered surface. While explaining reflection off of this, he stated the ...
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### Electromagnetism Permeability of vacuum [duplicate]

How vacuum could have electromagnetism Permeability when there is no molecule in it. (Permeability of other medium get describe with effect of their polar or magnetic molecule)
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### A light ray grazing over a spherical material

If an incident ray just grazes over a sphere of refractive index '$n$' then will it suffer any deviation or not? According to my reasoning it shouldn't suffer and deviation as the the ray will be ...
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### Gravitational light bending and refraction? [duplicate]

I've trying to read up on the evidential merit of general relativity and am rather curious as well as skeptical of early as well of possibly later more rigorous measurements of light (electromagnetic ...
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### Refraction of Sound Waves and Longitudinal Waves

How can i prove that sound waves are longitudinal wave?Are there any simple experiment that can be done?
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### Does the speed of light depend on mass density? [duplicate]

Light is a non-mechanical wave. It means that it does not require a medium to travel. But the characteristics of the medium to affect light. That s why refraction occurs, right? I also read somewhere ...
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### Uniqueness of refractive index

Let $A$ and $B$ be two media. Let $\alpha$ be the angle of incidence of light on medium $B$ and let $\beta$ be the angle of refraction. Let $_{_{A}}n_{{_B}}$ be the refractive index of $B$ with ...
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### Why do refracting telescopes have a wider field of view than reflecting telescopes?

Many websites say refracting telescopes have a wider field of view than reflecting telescopes, claiming it is because their angular magnification is less. Astronomical objects are therefore easier to ...
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### Why is the shadow behaving like this? [duplicate]

When approaching a sheet of paper between the sun and an object (a Lego here) the shadow of the object seems to get bigger as in this video. Can you please explain why? Thank you! :)
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### Why does this freshly machined shiny steel surface act like a prism?

Watching a video of a sheeve (pulley) being machined from steel I noticed a distinct rainbow-like pattern reflecting off the metal surface. This is visible at several different times in the video, ...
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### What will be the effect if I put a light source inside a swimming pool?

It can be a swimming pool or place with a certian level of water. The water is transparent and, inside of the pool, there is a small monochromatic light source. Now if I observe this from the outside,...
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### Is it possible for any value of incident angle (except 90°) that the refracted ray goes along the normal (rarer to denser case)?

I was going through the topic critical angle. When light travels from denser to rarer medium & when angle is critical angle, it goes along the surface of separation, i.e. grazing emergence. Will ...
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### What is Scattering of light?

Scattering of light is a Diffraction or Reflection? I mean if a wave of light collide with a particle it just goes in a different pass in respect the angle of crash or it Diffract in different pass ...
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### Confusion Regarding Snell's Window and Critical Angle

As far as I know, the critical angle exists only if light passes from a medium with a greater index of refraction to one with a smaller index of recreation. However, when it comes to Snell's window, a ...
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### Optical path followed by a light ray in a medium with non-uniform refractive index

I'm trying to deduce the intensity distribution resulting from the interference of reflected and transmitted light in a medium with a non-uniform refractive index, as shown in the image below. The ...
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### Refractive index of Gold

IOR of Gold is 0.47. How is it possible gold density is less than a vacuum? After all, physically, a gold ingot is denser than air, or am I wrong? Why index is 0.47? I'm confused.
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### How to find the fraction of light absorbed by a surface?

How to find the fraction of light absorbed by a surface? What values do we need? I am trying to find the fraction of light absorbed by a surface when it's dry and when it's wet. I have something ...
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### How to find the probability reflection at a liquid-air interface for a surface which reflects diffusely according to Lambert's law?

The smooth surface is air-liquid interface and the rough surface is let's say a t-shirt. The image above shows the probability of each reflection, and the $p$ value is the probability of the light ...
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### Effective Refractive Index: Where does this formula come from? [duplicate]

In the paper, entitled "Artificial uniaxial and biaxial dielectrics with use of two-dimensional subwavelength binary gratings" by Eric B. Grann, M. G. Moharam, and Drew A. Pommet. https://www....
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### Effective Refractive Index in Paper

I am reading the paper, entitled "Artificial uniaxial and biaxial dielectrics with use of two-dimensional subwavelength binary gratings" by Eric B. Grann, M. G. Moharam, and Drew A. Pommet. https://...
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### Behavior of sound on interface of 2 media

We say that sound travels faster in steel than in air. Thus if we want to know whether a train is approaching us we can put our ear on the rail track as we would be able to hear that quickly. Now ...
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### Does phase velocity or group velocity change when light enters a new material? Contradictory sources

I'm so confused. I've read in this book (page 28) that group velocity of light can exceed $c$ in certain gases. However a lot of people online and in the forums say that phase velocity can exceed $c$. ...
Considering a light wave traveling from the vacuum to air, I am trying to find what will happen to its wavelength. At first, using optics, we know that: $$n=\frac{c}{v}$$ where $n$ represents the ...