L09_snell5 - Snells Law Name: Teammates: Introduction...

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Snell’s Law Name: Teammates: Introduction Whenever a wave encounters a different medium, if its speed in the new medium is different, part of the wave is reflected and the other part is refracted (transmitted) into the new medium. The principles governing reflection are quite simple. The angle at which the wave hits the surface is equal to the angle at which it reflects, albeit on the opposite side of the normal to the surface. Refraction occurs when the wave is able to travel through the interface into the second medium. If the wave comes in at a zero incidence angle, then it refracts at zero angle. However, if it comes in at some angle, then it will transmit into the second medium at an angle that depends upon the speed of the wave in both media. The rule that governs how waves are refracted is known as Snell's law. n i sin i = n t sin t where n is the index of refraction, is the angle of the light ray, the i subscripts refer to the incident medium, and the t subscripts refer to the medium into which the light was refracted. As this relationship shows, if the index of refraction of the transmitted medium (n t ) is larger than the index of refraction of the incident medium (n i ), then the transmitted angle ( t ) will be smaller than the incident angle ( I ). It also shows that if (n
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2011 for the course PHYS 1112L taught by Professor Adler during the Summer '10 term at Kennesaw.

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L09_snell5 - Snells Law Name: Teammates: Introduction...

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