Index of Refraction Formula

The following equation uses the speed of light in a vacuum and the speed of light in the medium being analyzed to calculate the index of refraction.

index of refraction formula


Index of Refraction Definition

What is an index of refraction? The index of refraction is a ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a medium. In other words, how my the light will refract going from a vacuum into said mediu.

The process of refraction is the changing of direction of the light due to it slowing down through the new medium. For example, when you look object under water they appear to be in a different location then actual because the light is being refracted through the water creating an illusion.


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