Physics Help Forum Refraction of Light

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Feb 16th 2011, 11:30 PM   #1
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Refraction of Light

The figure shows a surface XY separating two transparent media, medium 1 and medium 2. The lines ab and cd represent wavefronts of a light wave travelling in medium 1 and incident on XY. The lines ef and gh represent wavefronts of the light wave in medium 2 after refraction. We conclude that speed of light is
(a) The same in medium1 and medium2
(b) Larger in medium1 than in medium2
(c) Larger in medium2 than in medium1
(d) Different at b and d
P.S. : View the attached file for the diagram o the same.
Attached Files
 Physics Refraction.zip (10.2 KB, 10 views)

 Feb 17th 2011, 05:18 AM #2 Physics Team     Join Date: Jun 2010 Location: Mauritius Posts: 609 Look for the direction of propagation of the light wave. If the direction changes from one medium to another, then the speed of light has changed. Now, if the direction is closer to the normal, then it means that the speed is lower. The opposite is also true. I would also suggest that you don't upload compressed files, but the image file itself. We cannot just download the file and only too late realise that it contains some form of computer threat. __________________ Jerry (Got my results!) It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to cover the earth with carpet. No one can go back and change a bad beginning; but anyone can start now and create a successful ending. If a problem can be solved, no need to worry about it. If it cannot be solved what is the use of worrying?
 Feb 17th 2011, 07:36 AM #3 Junior Member   Join Date: Feb 2011 Posts: 2 Respected "Jerry" First of all, Thank You for replying. Secondly, I had to upload the compressed file as the original file was 2 MB which is not allowed. I am aware of the rules that you mentioned, but this problem has the refracted ray completely displaced (laterally) so I cant compare by drawing the normal. Only if I could get you to see the diagram , you would understand what I am trying to say. Aruj
 Feb 17th 2011, 07:42 AM #4 Physics Team     Join Date: Jun 2010 Location: Mauritius Posts: 609 A 2 MB image? That's really huge... can you open it in Paint (or other program), click on Image and Resize Image (I might have forgotten the exact way, right click and look for image resize if that's easier). Then, resize it. 500 by 400 should be enough, and save the new image by using File > Save As > Name.jpg This should give you an image with lower memory usage. __________________ Jerry (Got my results!) It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to cover the earth with carpet. No one can go back and change a bad beginning; but anyone can start now and create a successful ending. If a problem can be solved, no need to worry about it. If it cannot be solved what is the use of worrying? Last edited by Unknown008; Feb 17th 2011 at 07:49 AM.
Feb 17th 2011, 12:43 PM   #5

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 Originally Posted by Aruj The figure shows a surface XY separating two transparent media, medium 1 and medium 2. The lines ab and cd represent wavefronts of a light wave travelling in medium 1 and incident on XY. The lines ef and gh represent wavefronts of the light wave in medium 2 after refraction. We conclude that speed of light is (a) The same in medium1 and medium2 (b) Larger in medium1 than in medium2 (c) Larger in medium2 than in medium1 (d) Different at b and d P.S. : View the attached file for the diagram o the same.
I'm sure you are tired of hearing this, but officially speaking please do not upload compressed files in the future.

I agree that if the speed of light is different then the wave fronts will change direction. However I am noting that there appears to be a larger distance between fronts in medium 2 than in medium 1. This implies that the wavelength has increased from leaving medium 1 and going into medium 2. Which means...

-Dan
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