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Questions tagged [refraction]

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

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how to measure distance trough foil wrapping

I would like to measure the distance of wooden board through a plastic foil. The target accuracy is less than a mm. I thought about using triangulating a laser beam via a CCD array. I tested this with ...
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Why violet light bends the most? [duplicate]

I have read about refraction through a triangular prism,rainbow formation and other natural phenomena.They all told about the strong bending of violet light . I know that it has a shorter wavelength ...
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Will myopic vision be improved while diving?

Why does my myopic vision improve under water while wearing a diving mask, compared to my normal vision on land?
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How large will my buddy's eyes appear underwater while wearing goggles?

My buddy and I are underwater scuba diving. We are both wearing diving masks. I know an object in the water will appear 1.33 times larger. But how large will my buddy's eyes appear inside of his ...
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Why does the soap bubble shine with the colours of the rainbow?

Is it because of refraction of light in water? a mixture of UV rays in sunlight? polarization of reflected light? interference of light reflected from external and internal film surface? or maybe ...
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Path a photon or phonon takes in a moving medium

Lets say we have a medium with refractive index n whose velocity is given as a function of height. $v_x(y)=ay$ How would we go about finding the motion of a photon or phonon in this space from the ...
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If two different mediums have the same refractive index do they refract light identically at all wavelengths, pressures, etc.?

Is it possible to differentiate between two substances purely based upon how two mediums refract different colors of light? It is clear that different elements absorb (and emit) light very differently ...
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N00b path integral formulation question

I have a question about the path integral formulation used in QED etc. The path integral formulation implies to me that index of refraction (and reflection or anything also calculated using this ...
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3answers
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If I were to change the definition of refractive index [on hold]

We know that the Refractive Index is just a number that gives an idea of how much velocity of light decreases in comparison to vacuum. So, it makes sense to define a variable, n as: n=c/v where v ...
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Is their a way to protect screens from being recorded? [closed]

This idea might sound stupid but... Is there a way a screen would be impossible to record using a prism? I’m not talking recorded by a software but recorded from a camera… If you put a prism layer in ...
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1answer
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The concept of force carrying photons

Are the force carrying photons really something physical? Do they really occur during electromagnetic interactions? Does this mean that in different mediums where the speed of light differ, the ...
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2answers
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Error propagation in sine

Having little experience teaching uncertainties and error propagation to high school students I am learning a lot of new things this year. One thing in the textbook we use states that the uncertainty ...
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Refraction and critical angle on a prism

I shouldn't be stuck on this, and I'm sure there's a simple way of doing this but can't seem to find it. I am doing a problem Which involves a light ray entering a glass prism which is an isosceles ...
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Refracting an image through 2 prisms

my question might be quite simple for some of you but I don't have any idea what the result of such an experiment would be... If you would take an image emitting light such as a video from a screen ...
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Why does gradually increasing refractive index coating reduce reflection?

Why does gradually increasing refractive index coating reduce reflection? EDIT: As @Michael Seifert nicely describes in his answer, reflection only occurs if there is an abrupt change in refractive ...
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1answer
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Are Fresnel Equations with Complex Indices and Angles always valid?

This question-answer pair came after i was asked the following question and realized i had to do some research of my own to answer it fully, and to be sure that the answer is „yes“, in the sense ...
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1answer
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Refraction in oil and plastic

Can some one help me in understanding this picture. I came across this interesting picture in wikipedia on Refractive index. when green light is refracted in plastic it looks like reddish orange and ...
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1answer
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The change of focal distance as a result of adding a substance

I have a given focal distance between lens and an image sensor (in air). Now I add a protective glass with a known refractive index and width between the lens and the sensor. How can I calculate the ...
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Rayleigh scattering light intensity

Assume a single ray of unpolarized light propagating through an opaque medium (water). Due to absorption and Rayleigh scattering the intensity decreases and light gets scattered/diffused before hiting ...
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Quantum Electrodynamics explanation for refraction [duplicate]

I am trying to understand the fundamentals of Quantum Electrodynamics through the simple example of refraction. Let's start with a plane wave coherent state (or a number state) impinging on a boundary ...
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If colour A bends more away from normal than colour B when it passes from a denser to a rarer medium? Which colour is slower in second medium?

Will it be colour A or colour B? I learnt that more it bend, slower its speed would be. Will be true when the light passes from a denser to a rarer medium? Or will it be true only when the colours ...
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Fermat's principle of least time for reflection and refraction [duplicate]

In discussing geometrical optics, Fermat's principle of least time is often used to solve problems and is generally used as a replacement of laws of reflection and refraction. Fermat's principle is ...
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1answer
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Why can't two truly identical experiments on quantum scale give the same result?

When we refract light on air/water interface, some part of light is reflected while some of it gets refracted. My question is when we consider light as a photon and send it (photons) one by one, what ...
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Changing the refractive index of biological tissue using Radio Frequency (RF)

I have been looking into changing the refractive index of a specific medium initially using Ultrasound in a known location via a mechanical Doppler shift of the emitter (Mahan et al., 1998) which has ...
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1answer
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Why do the LINES in a vertical soap bubble get thinner as we go down?

I understand that the soap bubble gets thicker at the bottom of the bubble due to gravity, resulting in a complicated array of different colors of different wavelengths being constructively and ...
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Measuring inner choke point on non-uniform silica capillary tube

I hope this is an appropriate place to be asking questions like these (google brought me here when I was searching for a solution)! I make an assembly where a small silica capillary tube (OD of 1mm) ...
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1answer
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Why does a rainbow only form with a 42° angle? [duplicate]

Why do rainbows only form with a 42° angle? Is there something special about this angle?
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1answer
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Dielectric constant change in the atmosphere?

I'm curious about the refractive index changing in the atmosphere. As I understand it (and I may very well be wrong/naive) when a ray of light enters from one medium into another, the electric field ...
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2answers
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Do mirages really occur due to total internal reflection?

Mirages occur in areas such as deserts due to difference in the refractive indices of layers of air. As the light ray travels from denser to rarer layers of air, slowly bending, it approaches the ...
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Path of sound in ocean where sound speed varies linearly with depth

In an ocean, described with $x-y$ Cartesian coordinates where $y=0$ on the sea bed, the sound speed varies linearly with $y$: $$v(y)=c+by$$ A textbook says that, if sound wave is emitted on the sea ...
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Thickness and refractive index of silica gel layer between fused silica and water interface

I learned that when fused silica contact with water, a layer of silica gel will be formed. However, I cannot find any reference about the thickness and the refractive index of the silica gel. Can ...
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125 views

Snell's law and Fermat's principle

I have read this sentence on a book about the Snell's law of refraction, referring on a ray that passes from air ($n_1=1$) to glass ($n_2=1.55$): "Snell's equation can be derived from Fermat's ...
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1answer
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Bending a Laser Beam [closed]

We can bend a Laser beam by varying the refraction coefficient of the air. We can bend a Laser beam by dispersing into the air small particles that have the same effect on the Laser Beam and small ...
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2answers
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Are there any real-world examples of refraction of light by magnetic permeability?

The question Fresnel Transmission Coefficient for Magnetic Field is interesting. Thinking about it led me to reflect upon what little I know of the history of optics, with refraction by lenses and ...
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2answers
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Why does violet light bend the most? [duplicate]

When white light passes through a prism, refraction occurs and it splits into its seven constituent colours. If the spectrum is obtained on a screen violet light appears much more bent than red light. ...
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1answer
62 views

Correlation between the refractive index and the density

The $v$ propagation speed of light in a transparent medium is related to the $c$ speed of light in vacuum through the relationship, $$\boxed{n=c/v}$$ The constant $n$ is a pure number called ...
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Angles of Refraction,Internal reflection and incidence

First ill ask my question in brief and then ill elaborate it below... Theoretically is it that internal reflection occurs within a solid sphere(which is considered to be the denser medium) if and ...
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2answers
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Do gravitational waves disperse/refract (like EM waves in a prism)?

I have read this question: What is the relationship between a gravitational wave and a graviton? where kingledion says: Gravitational waves were theorized a century ago and recently ...
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1answer
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Calculated focus of an asymmetric bi-convex lens

So I've been working on modeling an optical system using ray tracing. I've finally gotten to the point where I am testing things however I've come across something I'm not entirely sure of. I'm ...
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The Refractive Index of Water after Several Heating and Cooling Cycles

If the refractive index of water under a certain temperature, say 20 degreeC, is 1.33334. Will it return to exact the same value after one or several heating and cooling cycles? Or will it shift a ...
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1answer
136 views

Phase difference and optical path difference (OPD)

My textbook says that $\frac{\delta}{2\pi}=\frac{\Delta L}{\lambda}$, where $\delta$ is the phase difference and $\Delta L$ is so called path difference. But that's a cheat in my opinion. Even if the ...
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4answers
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Reverse of diffraction

Can we arrange a practical in such a way that the dark and bright bands in diffraction grating be allowed to pass through the same slit to get the original light (i.e the incident light before ...
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Why frequency does not change when light passes through the denser medium? [duplicate]

as far as I noticed always people in physics have a predefined assumption that frequency is constant. whereas we know that the c is the outcom of product of wavelength and frequency. we have different ...
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1answer
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Why does the Complex Index of Refraction take part in the Reflection?

I'm aware that in Optics, the complex index-of-refraction $\eta = n+ik$ is used, which famously leads to the reflection property at an incident angle, i.e. Fresnel's law: $$R=\frac{(n-1)^2+k^2}{(n+1)^...
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Help understanding the speed of light in media with refractive index < 1

I have read the standard explanations on this, but I still have trouble with convincing myself that information is not propagating at faster than the speed c in media of refractive index less then ...
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59 views

Changing Refractive Index

Is it possible that the refractive index of a material could change?if so,what are those factors and what kind of variation could they bring?
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Question about transmission of paraboloidal light waves in bi-convex lens

The question is as follows: Show that a paraboloidal wave centered at $z_1$ is converted by a lens of focal length $f$ into a paraboloidal wave centered about $z_2$, where $\frac1{z1} + \frac1{z2} ...
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1answer
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Do photons “bounce off” of electrons?

I’ve been reading a book, and in one part the author explains how electrons only absorb the wavelengths of light that can take them to an excited state, i.e. that can take the electrons to a higher ...
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1answer
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How do I use a sunstone? How does it work?

I have acquired two pieces of Icelandic Spar (optical calcite) with surface and internal fractures that should be serviceable as sunstones. I have observed the double refraction and cancelling double ...
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How do we determine refractive index of a photonic crystal?

Normally, refractive index of a medium is defined as $$n=\frac c{v_\text{p}},$$ where $c$ is the speed of light in vacuum, and $v_\text{p}$ is the phase speed of light in the medium. Phase speed is ...