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# #6 - Refraction Light and Color for Nonscientists PHYS 1230...

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Refraction Light and Color for Nonscientists PHYS 1230 Geometrical optics - how does light change direction? Reflections (mirrors, seeing your image) Refractions (bending light, light in water)

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Refraction Ever notice how your leg looks bent as you dangle it in the water from the edge of a pool? Why do fish seem to radically change position as we look at them from different viewpoints in an aquarium? What makes diamonds sparkle so much? These are all questions that can be addressed with the concept of refraction. Refraction is the bending of light when it goes from one transparent medium to another (e.g. air-to-glass or air-to-water). This meeting place of two different media is called the interface between the media. All refraction of light (and reflection) occurs at an interface.
Examples of Refractions Bending of light in glass Mirages Total internal reflection Fiber optics Sparkle of diamonds http://acept.la.asu.edu/PiN/mod/light/reflection/pattLight1Obj1.html

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Demonstrations Refraction e.g. stick in tank of water, pencil in glass of water Total internal reflection - light pipe
Changing the speed of light - refraction Refractions occur because the speed of light changes (slows down) when the light enters a “denser” material

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Density (optical) of selected materials Question: What determines if one material is more or less dense than another from the point of view of light? Answer: The speed of light is slower in denser materials NOTE: We define the index of refraction (n) of a substance as - n = speed of light in vacuum speed of light in substance So n = c/v or v = c/n
Index of refraction of selected materials Vacuum Air Water Glass Diamond 1.00000000000.. 1.0003 1.333 1.5 (depends on type) 2.4 Material density is characterized by the Index of Refraction

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Speed of light in different materials Bar chart of the velocity of visible light in different media. The value of 100% refers to the velocity of light in vacuum. http://acept.la.asu.edu/PiN/rdg/refraction/refraction.shtml
Speed of light in different materials APPLET http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/speedoflight/index.html

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Light slows down in denser materials http://acept.la.asu.edu/PiN/rdg/refraction/refraction.shtml Light waves incident on glass change direction and wavelength when transmitted into the glass because the part of the wave in the medium begins to slow down, causing the light beam to bend.
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#6 - Refraction Light and Color for Nonscientists PHYS 1230...

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