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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Lens maker’s formula from parabolic approximation

I’m attempting to derive the lens maker’s formula for a thin or thick lens using the parabolic approximation. I’m familiar with the other proof using the law of refraction and different angles. The ...
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Property of total internal reflection question

If I create a medium with gradually decreasing refractive index from once face at index 2.0 and other at 1.01, and show a beam of light upon the optically denser side, will there be any losses upon ...
Udaiyan Bhan's user avatar
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Deviation suffered by light ray incident on a surface

Problem: Figure shows two spherical surfaces of radii $R$ and $2R$ separating three transparent media of refractive indices $\mu_1=1, \mu_2=2$ and $\mu_3=4$. A ray of light travelling in medium $\...
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Is the relativistic energy-momentum relation fundamental? [duplicate]

The following relativistic energy-momentum relationship is taken to be fundamental: $$E^2=p^2c^2+m_0^2c^4.\tag{1}$$ Let us specialize to massless particles ($m_0=0$) so that we have: $$E=p\ c.\tag{2}$$...
John Eastmond's user avatar
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Is there a way to calculate the angle between the refracted and reflected rays given the refractive index?

Is there a way to calculate the refracted and reflected rays? I know we use Snell's law to calculate the refracted rays, but is there a formula to calculate the angle of the reflected rays, or does it ...
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Fermat principle: how did they know the speed of light in different mediums?

Pierre de Fermat derived his principle of least time by considering the path that light would take when traveling between two points. He postulated that light would follow the path that minimized the ...
Andy Chow's user avatar
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What causes the plane contrails to bend in the foreground of the eclipse?

This looks almost like refractive index of air is different in the shadowed part, but what would cause that?
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Apparent position of object in bowl of water

Say you have a bowl of water and you keep an object in it. What would the apparent position of an object inside the bowl from the position of an outside observer? Will the curvature of the spherical ...
Astrovis's user avatar
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Difference between deviation of ray and wavefront

This is a reference to the question posted by Govind Prajapat Refraction of light through a slab of variable refractive index A monochromatic light wave is incident normally on a glass slab of ...
soccerer's user avatar
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Is refraction a special case of diffraction according to the book by Charles Kittel?

Wikipedia defines diffraction as - Diffraction is the interference or bending of waves around the corners of an obstacle or through an aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle/...
Vatsal Sharma's user avatar
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QFT view of lower light speed of light in medium [duplicate]

In classical EM theory, if we have a medium whose dielectric coefficient is independent of wavelengths (suppose we filter the incoming signal to a certain frequency band), then the waveform gets to ...
Meatball Princess's user avatar
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Why the photons are deflected during the refraction? [duplicate]

From what I learnt, when photons are passing throw a denser environnement with an positive angle (from the atmosphere to water for exemple), they are slow down. But I can't understand how this ...
Jay Labarsurlakantik 's user avatar
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Why do shockwaves refract when they travel into the ground?

If a shockwave from something like an explosion travels into the ground, why will it refract? The speed of sound is far different in the ground, but what would make it refract? I can’t seem to find ...
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How are shockwaves able to refract?

How are shockwaves able to refract? As said here, When two shock waves collide, they interact with each other and produce complex patterns of compression, rarefaction, and reflection. The resulting ...
Wyatt's user avatar
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Why does light bend through a different medium?

How does light going through a medium make light refract? Here’s a good picture : The problem with this analogy is it depends on the students or light being connected to each other and as far as I ...
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Definition of the displacement field in classical field Lagrangian

In a BSM related paper (in appendix B), the authors use an effective Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}_{EFT}$, and define the following fields: $$ \mathbf{D} = \frac{\partial\mathcal{L}_{EFT}}{\partial\mathbf{E}...
Doron Behar's user avatar
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Why is the refractive index for light rays travelling in circular paths proportional to $1/r$?

While studying optics, I came across a problem with solution in which the trajectory of light rays was known—circular paths around a fixed point in space, and the question was that of determining the ...
davidaddisonsenjaya's user avatar
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Why do highlights occur on edges? [closed]

When looking at an object, the highlights are usually on the corners and edges. Highlights can occur anywhere on an object, but it seems like the brightest parts are where it is the most sharp.
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Wave propagation in inhomogeneous media

There is a problem I'm trying to solve for some time now and is about the standard (?) approximation that it is made when one tries to solve the Helmholtz equation in inhomogeneous media, that is \...
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Can anyone explain convergence of parallel rays on the focus of a parabolic reflector using Fermat's Principle?

Can anyone explain convergence of parallel rays on the focus of a parabolic reflector using Fermat's Principle? using optimization techniques from calculus?
Sachin Kalakoti's user avatar
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Microscopic model of complex refractive index

In my Electromagnetic Optics class, we tried to reconcile the microscopic (optical) properties of matter with its macroscopic counterparts, and one of the most challenging properties is the (complex) ...
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How does an electromagnetic wave behave when it enters a medium with refractive index less than unity?

From what I am able to find, the phase velosity of the wave exceeds c, but the group velosity remains less than c. However, why does the wave form wavepackets after entering a medium with refractive ...
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Finding the limiting refractive index of a rainbow

Give the limiting refractive index of a rainbow. The raindrops are modelled as spherical droplets, with refractive index $n$, with parallel rays from the Sun incident on it. I have a very limited ...
Developer's user avatar
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Can anyone explain the relationship between the refractive index, the speed, wavelength and angle of a wave?

Can anyone explain the relationship between the refractive index, the speed, wavelength and angle of a wave? in my book is states that $$n = \frac{v_1}{v_2} = \frac{\sin θ_1}{\sin θ_2} = \frac{λ_1}{...
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Why is $c = \frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}}$?

I'm sorry if this is a duplicate but I didn't find my answer. I'm currently studying maxwell's equations and I know that by comparing the wave equation for either the magnetic or the electric field \...
Axodarap's user avatar
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Does light accelerate? [duplicate]

If considering the general formula for acceleration, ie. Δ V/ΔT, we would get zero as the velocity of light is constant and does not change. However, what about when photons travel through different ...
Mel's user avatar
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Minimum Radius of Curvature an Optical Fiber can be bent

Using the thickness and refractive index of an optical fiber, is it possible to know the maximum radius of curvature it can be bent before there are losses due to refraction? In my research, I came ...
Astrovis's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Why does laser light not bend (refract) when it travels from air to water?

I passed green laser light from air to water but to my suprise the light doesn't bend towards normal even though I changed the angle of incidence.It goes undeflected ,Is it because of its higher ...
Sanjay S's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
315 views

Refraction of light through a slab of variable refractive index

Here I am posting a question of Jee Adv. 2023 based on refraction. A monochromatic light wave is incident normally on a glass slab of thickness 𝑑, as shown in the figure. The refractive index of the ...
Govind Prajapat's user avatar
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On the (variable?) nature of $\epsilon_0$ and $\mu_0$

In electromagnetism, the electric displacement field D represents the distribution of electric charges in a given medium resulting from the presence of an electric field E. Its relation to ...
Juan Moreno's user avatar
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1 answer
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How does a Magic Mirror work?

I recently found out about the Magic Mirror. Both sides of the mirror look the same, and it appears to be dark, if looked at closely, like sunglasses (but lighter in colour) but looks like a normal ...
Stuti's user avatar
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When light passes from one medium to another. Depending on the density, it would experience a change in velocity. Why would its vector change as well?

For example, when light passes through water its velocity decreases and refraction occurs. Why? Why is there a change in direction. If I slow down a car I don’t suddenly turn left.
A new learner's user avatar
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What causes light to scatter in a medium?

My understanding is that all mediums have a complex iindex of refraction where the real component is the "standard" index of refraction, and the imaginary component is the extinction ...
Chris Gnam's user avatar
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General formulea for describing the refractive index at any point within the a black hole's gravitational field approaching the event horizon?

So, say I describe a perfectly linear field expanding outward from a point (A signed distance field of a sphere, basically) (as described by sqrt(x^2 + y^2 + z^2) ...
Mister SirCode's user avatar
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6 answers
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Why color depends on frequency and not on wavelength? [duplicate]

To explain my question lets consider this example: The wavelength of light in a medium is $\lambda=\lambda_{0}/\mu$, where $\lambda_{0}$ is the wavelength in vacuum. A beam of red light ($\lambda_{0}=...
Devansh Mittal's user avatar
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1 answer
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Refractive index of air & pressure relation [duplicate]

I do not understand why refractive index of air,when nearly equal to 1,is proportional to the pressure of the air. If anybody can provide an answer with proper resource from which I can study on the ...
Sumit Roy's user avatar
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1 answer
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Broadening of sodium lines by a prism upon change of incidence angle

How angle of incidence affect the lines of sodium when we are observing refracted rays from prism ? Or is it the deviation of rays that makes the lines broader. Let me put it in a better way , when ...
Subhajit Podder's user avatar
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Complex Refractive Indices, Absorption, and Transparency

A complex refractive index is defined as $n = n_0 + \kappa$ where $n_0$ is the "standard" refractive index, and $\kappa$ is the optical extinction coefficient. The optical extinction ...
Chris Gnam's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
196 views

Lenses and missing reflection

I am wondering why reflected rays are not considered with lenses. If a ray strikes a surface, another is reflected off that striking point; however, this is not added when studying lenses, only ...
DisD's user avatar
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Fresnel Equations and an Opaque Surface?

I'm trying to make sense of what actually happens to light when it interacts with an opaque surface. The fresnel equations give us the proportion of light which is reflected off the surface of a ...
Chris Gnam's user avatar
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Perceiving the rainbows

Famous Astrophysicist Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson, explains that whenever we observe a rainbow it appears exactly semi-circle to us. If another person is observing the same rainbow from a slightly ...
Shamant Desai's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

The speed of light in medium with different frequency

We know that the speed of light in vaccuum can be expressed as $c=\frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu_0\epsilon_0}}$ and thus the speed of light in vaccuum is thus $$v=\frac{1}{\sqrt{\mu\epsilon}}=\frac{c}{\sqrt{\...
Pck Tsp's user avatar
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2 answers
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Geometric optics multiple lens focal length calculation

Just wanted to understand how I would go about calculating the effective focal length of these different lens configurations. There's the combined focal length formula, but I'm struggling to apply it ...
user94863's user avatar
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Speed in a medium

Let's say, that there is medium, where the speed of light is $10^8 \, \rm m/s$. So in that medium if there exists a particle that is moving through without any hindrance what would be the speed limit ...
Le nerd's user avatar
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Plastic cup filled with water shiny surface [duplicate]

When I hold a plastic transparent cup half filled with water and see it from above then its sides (up to which water is filled )appear shiny. Some of my fingertips (which are holding glass ) are wet ...
Zrancon's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do high powered lasers refract differently than other light?

So I have a question: I am told that there are naval lasers that target over 100's of miles ship-to-ship (not ship to air). Someone asserted that powerful lasers would refract differently than light. ...
Marco Chacon's user avatar
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Refraction and Snell's law at $\rm SiN$ inverse taper facet

For an optical inverse taper, for example, for a $\rm SiN$ taper, material of core is $\rm Si_3N_4$ while cladding is oxide. At the facet, there is a polish angle theta to reduce the backreflection. ...
Allen's user avatar
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Photon momentum in Snell's law of refraction

In the drivation of Snell's law for light as EM waves, we have the wave vector components parallel to the interface $k1\parallel$ = $k2\parallel$ as shown in the picture. From $k_{1x} = k_{2x}$, we ...
Leon Chang's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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Snell's Law- Extraordinary ray

I applied the snell's law to find the angle of refraction of the Ordinary and Extraordinary ray. And I got the correct answer 3.51. But I know my approach to the question is wrong because I applied ...
Akshat Shrivastava's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
90 views

Can the refractive index of a medium be negative?(<0)

Recently I was asked in a test what would happen if the refractive index of a medium was negative. Is it possible really? The refractive index is the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum and ...
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