# Questions tagged [refraction]

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

953 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6k views

### Do electromagnetic waves always move in straight lines?

When we send an electromagnetic short wave to the sky, it reflects due to the ionosphere effects. But if we send it horizontally, is it correct that it moves around the surface of the earth, and if it ...
130 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 ...
119 views

### Why does the angle of waves change in refraction instead of just altering the relative position of each component the medium?

So, first of I would like to apologize if my question is at all stupid, I am not at all good at physics, but I do quite enjoy studying and learning about it. So I know about refraction, I'm aware of ...
573 views

### Radio wave behaviour in reflection, Refraction and Diffraction

I am trying to understand how radio waves behave when reflected, refracted and diffracted. I have put together a list based on light which I think will be the same. Can anyone tell me the behaviour of ...
313 views

### How is horizontal atmospheric refraction explained?

I can understand vertical atmospheric refraction due to a gradual change in the refractive index of air. The distances measured in this model are often great. Sun moon planets etc.. now the question I ...
31 views

### 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?
20 views

### 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 ...
53 views

### 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 ...
320 views

### Examples of mediums which are not linear, homogeneous and isotropic

In electromagnetics we are taught that mediums can be linear/nonlinear,isotropic/anisotropic,homogeneous/non-homogeneous...we also learn their definitions. Now we are told that if nothing is specified ...
23 views

### 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 ...
476 views

### What does the refractive index for e.g. alpha mean?

When I look for some materials like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barium_sulfate and want to extract the refractive index then there is written: (nD)=1.636 (alpha). And sometimes also for beta and ...
23 views

### 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 ...
50 views

### 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 ...
1k views

### Deriving the law of reflection for a moving mirror in relativity

I am following a training course and came across this proof, from my colleague, that the ordinary law of reflection $\theta_i = \theta_r$ does not hold in relativity: Let $S$ be a perfectly ...
69 views

### If I were to change the definition of refractive index

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 ...
61 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 ...
28 views

### 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 ...
36 views

### 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 ...
120 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 ...
642 views

### Question on real image formation by light

Before starting a detailed tour of physics, I wanted to clear some of my basic doubts. I have studied the image formation by mirrors and lenses and I'm aware that a real image is formed of an object ...
312 views

### Formation of a rainbow

Why the formation of rainbows require a total internal reflection on the part of light. I mean can't the rainbows be formed without it , simply through refraction by the water droplet at a suitable ...
621 views

### Index of Refraction in Metal: Approximating Complex Perturbation

If you consider waves in a metal, you can write the index of refraction for the metal as, $$n^2 = 1 - \frac{\omega_p^2}{\omega^2}$$ I am interested in what will happen if the index is perturbed by ...
85 views

### What is the main difference of a sound wave propagating in air and in water?

I was reading this article out of curiosity and I started wandering about the key difference in the propagation of a sound wave in water. Maybe something due to the fact that very rarely we have a "...
729 views

671 views

### Equations of Fermat's principle/Snell's law in a gradient lens (sugar aquarium)

I'm trying to animate a beam of light inside a substance with gradient index of refraction as a function of y. A good example of that is a syrup inside an aquarium like here https://www.youtube.com/...
85 views

### 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 ...