Questions tagged [refraction]

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

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1answer
121 views

Why the image is being formed at the surface?

Last week I encountered a very cool optical phenomenon. A photo was sandwiched between the two glass plate to make the paperweight. The cool part is the picture seems to have been pasted on the top ...
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Would you see a rainbow from refraction when the sun is in front of you?

I know how rainbows are formed, and why. Usually it is said that the Sun must be behind the observer, in order for its light to be totally reflected inside the droplet and then reach the observer. ...
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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 ...
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Refractive index variation with wavelength of light

In my book it is written that $$\text{refractive index} = c/v =\sqrt{\text{permeability} \times \text{permittivity}}$$ The dielectric constant medium is dependent on the frequency of the field....
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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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Analytical relations (equations) for critical angle variation with surface radius of curvature in case of concave and convex media [on hold]

If someone can help me to calculate the critical angles (equations) for a media with curved surface; for two cases of convex and concave surfaces.
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1answer
39 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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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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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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1answer
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Feynman Lecture 33: Are Fresnel coefficients real?

In the Section 33-6 Feynman says: It is possible to go on with arguments of this nature and deduce that $b$ is real. To prove this, one must consider a case where light is coming from both ...
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Refraction: Swimming goggles, short-sightedness, and underwater vision

I have thought of this question due to personal experience. I am short-sighted, and over the last three years my short-sightedness has worsened. Taking a lifeguard certificate again now that I did ...
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1answer
212 views

How does the white color inside/below a rainbow arise?

Inside the rainbow all the colors of the rainbow are joint together to form white light. But how are all these different color cones formed? We see only the outside bands of the rainbow colors but ...
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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 ...
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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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1answer
48 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 ...
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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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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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Difference between thin film interference and Bragg diffraction of electron

Thin film interference is given by: $2dsin\theta=n\frac{\lambda}{n_i}$, where $d$ is the thickness of film, $\theta$ is the angle between incident light and tangent to the surface, $n$ is an integer, $...
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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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What is Snell's window?

Why is it that an underwater observer can see only a circular "window" and also can't see anything above the separating surface? Does the "window" depend on the depth?
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1answer
39 views

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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Is there a formula to calculate the deviated angle of a ray passing through a prism?

I'm assuming the angle of incidence to be the number of degrees from a perpendicular line on the side of a prism the ray starts passing through... I'm trying to figure out the angle the ray would be ...
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2answers
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Does light travel faster in between Casimir plates?

Speed of light is in general $c/n$ where $n$ is a refractive index. But for example introducing two parallel plates with very small spatial separation will perturb the energy density of vacuum ...
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476 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 ...
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1answer
283 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 ...
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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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Reflection coefficient as a function of frequency

I am trying to relate the equation for reflection coefficient in oblique mediums to the frequency but can't figure out how the frequency affects the reflection of light. $n_1$= intrinsic impedance of ...
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273 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 ...
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35 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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135 views

Reflectivity with Complex Refractive Index

I would like to ask a followup question on a previous post found here. Starting from the general expression for reflectivity: $$R = \left\lvert\frac{n_1-n_2}{n_1+n_2}\right\rvert^2$$ and ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
116 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 ...
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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 ...
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Is speed of light continuous when entering a medium?

I know that light has the speed $c$ in vacuum and speed $c/n$ in a medium with refractive index $n$. I wonder how this exactly happens - is there some kind of smooth transition? If so, on which scale?...
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(7) Will a nearsighted person who wears corrective lenses in her glasses be able to see clearly underwater when wearing those glasses? [closed]

Will a nearsighted person who wears corrective lenses in her glasses be able to see clearly underwater when wearing those glasses?
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Why don't light beams refract when they hit a curved surface [closed]

I saw a diagram that showed a light beam hitting a curved glass block (half circle) and nothing happened until it hit the flat surface, in which it refracted. Why doesn't it also refract when it hit ...
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Polishing Spherical Refracting surface vs Lens

My text book states that When we polish a spherical refracting surface (sphere) it doesn't behave as spherical surface and mirror .It still behaves as spherical surface. The polished side is just ...
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1answer
270 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 ...
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1answer
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Physical Analogs of General relativity and optics

My Prof told me today there is a 1-1 correspondence between particles in a curved space time, and optics problems in various indices of refraction, extending even as far as black holes. Does anyone ...
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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?
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1answer
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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?
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4answers
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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?...
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2answers
54 views

Can light possibly bend to the other direction of the normal?

When light goes from a more dense medium to a less dense medium, it bends away from the normal, as in the image When light goes from a less dense medium to a more dense medium it bends towards the ...
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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 ...
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Why doesn't the wave's frequency change as it gets refracted? [duplicate]

I know that frequency means a complete wave produced per second. But when the wave gets refracted, it's wavelength decreases. If the wave's wavelength has decreased doesn't it means that the wave has ...
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535 views

Is Snell's Law valid even for on any curved surfaces?

Proof of Snell's Law can also done by using Fermat's principle of least time on plane surfaces. Can we prove the same result for any curved surfaces ?