# All Questions

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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 ...
74 views
+50

### 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 ...
109 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 ...
63 views

### 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 ...
90 views

### 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. ...
35 views

### 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 ...
25 views

### 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 ...
2k views

### 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 ...
85 views

### 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 ...
52 views

### Why does the intensity of the scattered light vary when a monochromatic laser is shined into a transparent object?

When a laser is shined into a glass ball such as this video (link) or a bottle of water (link) the light is refracted through the whole transparent body. However, the intensity of the light scattered ...
4k views

### Why doesn’t a normal window produce an apparent rainbow?

When light refracts in a prism it creates a rainbow. My question is, why don’t all windows or transparent objects create this dispersion, i.e. why is the refractive index dependent on frequency in a ...
114 views

### Why does a prism refract light into a rainbow? [duplicate]

Why does a prism refract light such that the different frequencies of light “spread out”? The same goes for rainbows, why do the raindrops “spread out” the different frequencies of light?
52 views

### Why light travels through shortest path during refraction?

I know in order to compensate with change in speed but how does Light actually know which path is less dense or more dense?
82 views

### Why does frequency remain unchanged in light refraction but wavelength doesn't? [duplicate]

Since the frequency of an electromagnetic wave does not change during refraction but the velocity changes, the wavelength must therefore change. But why doesn't the frequency change in the first place?...
33 views

### Radio Waves / Light: Atmospheric Refraction

The following image differentiates between a visual horizon and a radar horizon. Sidenote: I'm not too familiar with primary surveillance radar technology, but this image refers to secondary ...
31 views

### Refractive index and optical fibre question

This is an A level AQA question: A signal is to be transmitted along an optical fibre of length 1200m. The signal consists of square pulses of white light and this is to be transmitted along the ...
43 views

### Speed of light dependent on source velocity in other medium [duplicate]

Does speed of light depends upon the velocity of source in a medium (like water) other than space? if yes, does the speed gets added up when the light source moves in direction of light?
76 views

### How does a concave lens form a virtual image?

If rays of light are diverged upon exiting a concave lens, then they have no focal point. The rays completely spread out in random directions. Like diffuse reflection(which does not form an image) So ...
25 views

### Predictions followed from Fermat's Principle, according to Feynman

In his book Lectures on Physics, Feynman mentions two predictions followed from Fermat's Principle (chapter 26-4). 1) Given three media air (1), water (2) and glass (3) with indices measured against ...
263 views

### Determining the refractive index of a glass slab using a travelling microscope

In this practical video of finding the refractive index, the reading is being taken by placing the travelling microscope perpendicular to the slab. But I've learned in another video(Frame Shot) if you ...
64 views

### Refraction of light with destructive interference

The wavelength of light determines it's refraction in a prism. But, what if two beams of light destructively interfere as they pass through a small prism, so there is no apparent wave or wavelength ...
2k views

### Light propagating through a sound wave

We know that the speed of light depends on the density of the medium it is travelling through. It travels faster through less dense media and slower through more dense media. When we produce sound, a ...
10 views

### Velocity vectors during the propagation of photon in elastic scattering question [duplicate]

I have been trouble with the concept of energy of the photon during propagation in random scattered or random continuum medias. E = hf, where E is the energy of the photon in Joules; h is Planck's ...
141 views

### How is energy conserved during simultaneous refraction and reflection of light?

My question is regarding the partial reflection and refraction of light when incident on a refracting surface. Here, the energy of Incident Ray is E=hv of Reflected Ray is E=hv and that of Refracted ...
41 views

### What is happening to a wave at a media boundary?

Say we have a light wave going from air to plastic, refractive indexes 1 and 1.5 respectively. What exactly is happening to the properties of the wave and why? Taking wavespeed as v, frequency as f, ...
130 views

### What does it mean to say that glass has refractive index 1.5?

The refractive index of a material depends on the wavelength of the light incident upon it which is why dispersion happens. When we say that glass has refractive index 1.5 which wavelength do we have ...
62 views

### Speed of electromagnetic wave [closed]

On dispersion , speed of wave is inversely proportional to its wavelength . Therefore, gamma has max speed. But then in visible light , violet has least wavelength still it has least speed in visible ...
106 views

### light travels the fastest path of two points, how do you determine those two points?

so in this diagram from Richard Feynman's book: QED Strange Theory of Light and Mater the light takes the fastest path from S to P and the lens makes it so that there are many fastest paths that go ...
57 views

### Is snow falling too fast or too reflective to produce rainbow?

Imagine millions of water molecules suspending in the air starts to turn into snow, I like to know the exact reason why we cannot have snow bow, is it due to the speed of each snow falling very fast ...
77 views

### Property of light in different media?

Shouldn't keeping a colored frame in front a flash light ( white light ) change its wavelength or frequency?But I have also learned that light doesn't change its frequency when going from one medium ...
53 views

### Curved Light stream?

I was wondering, a while ago, i asked if there is a way to bend light someway, which I got the answer is index of refraction. Which is when light passes through a material it refracts to a certain ...
69 views

### What causes these diamonds in water droplets on a screen?

It was raining yesterday and the screen of my iPad ended up covered in varying sized water droplets. As you can see, the smallest water droplets look transparent, and then as the size increases the ...
156 views

### Why is the thin prism always in the position of minimum deviation? [closed]

Our textbook says that a thin prism (a prism of angle less than 10°) is always in the position of minimum deviation, but doesn't provide any explanation as to why that it is. What would happen if I ...
88 views

### image formation by lenses

Why is the image formed by an object as described in the picture can be derived only from these three ray of lights?Every point on the object has multiple ray of lights going in every direction, how ...
51 views

### Focal Power of a Plane Interface

We know that when converging beam of rays are more converging after passing through an instrument, then we say it is of positive focal power. If angle of convergence doesn't change it is of zero focal ...
608 views

### Is there a medium less dense than vacuum, in which light can travel faster than $c$? [closed]

Is there a medium less dense than vacuum, in which light can travel faster than $c$? If not, can we make it?
67 views

### Why don't images bend when looking through window glass like they do when looking through water?

From this section on wikipedia, the phenomenon of an image appearing warped or slightly displaced when looking through water is due to its index of refraction (1.33) deviating from that of air (~1). ...
461 views

### Is it possible to calculate the distance to a rainbow by using the parallax method?

A colleague of mine (a physicist) recently claimed that it is possible to calculate the distance to a rainbow by applying the parallax method and that the result would be ~150 million kilometers, the ...
86 views

### Why does purple appear in a rainbow?

It is said that people and digital cameras have color sense only for red, green and blue. So when we see violet/purple in a rainbow, whether with our eyes or in a photo, we should be seeing a color ...
51 views

### Working principle of an optical stretcher

I understand that while using an optical stretcher experimental apparatus we attach a small dielectric ball to the specimen of study which can either be a DNA molecule, a Biological cell or any ...
305 views

### Why does light bend towards the normal when passing through a denser medium?

When light passes from a medium with less refractive index to a medium with higher refractive index, it bends towards the normal. But why normal . Of course we can take an example of a car moving from ...
110 views

### What type of mirage is this?

I am very new to the world of mirages and would like some information as to the type of mirage in this picture which I took this morning. It is the cargo ship African Kalmia which passed my location ...
245 views

### Is the reason the sunshine is 'extra bright' after rain due to refraction of the additional water in the air?

Quite frequently after the sun comes out after rain I experience a 30 minute period where the sunshine is 'unusually bright'. Such that it makes my eyes water. My question is: Is the reason the ...
241 views

### In refraction how does light interact with electrons if it is not absorbed? [duplicate]

What I (think I) understand: When light is refracted in a medium (say glass), the light interacts with the electrons in the medium and the electrons create new waves. Summing the waves with the ...
44 views

### Why do our eyes perceive changes in apparent position of stars as twinkling?

Okay, so we all know that the changes in refractive index leads to continuous changes in star's apparent position but then why don't we see them moving up and down rather than brighten and dim in ...
12k views

### What's the physics behind XKCD #2027 (time between lightning flash and radio wave burst)?

XKCD usually has solid (and often contemporary) science behind it. Lightning Difference, #2027 one says: Q: What’s that trick for telling how many miles away lightning is? A: Just count the ...
63 views

### what is the refraction index in the upper atmosphere(e.g Theromosphere)?

I've been searching for the refraction index in the upper atmosphere such as Stratosphere and Thermosphere but I can't find it, all that I've seen is all equation without any number that I can use it. ...
90 views

### What happens to a light ray after it enters a perfect sphere? [duplicate]

I am assuming a sphere which can reflect, refract and diffuse a light ray. So when a light ray hits the surface of the sphere from outside, a part of it gets reflected, a part of it gets diffused and ...