# The refraction of light through different

Visible light, also known as white light, consists of a collection of component colors. These colors are often observed as light passes through a triangular prism. Upon passage through the prism, the white light is separated into its component colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The separation of visible light into its different colors is known as dispersion. Visible light, also known as white light, consists of a collection of component colors. These colors are often observed as light passes through a triangular prism. Upon passage through the prism, the white light is separated into its component colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The separation of visible light into its different colors is known as dispersion.

It was mentioned in the Light and Color unit that each color is characteristic of a distinct wave frequency; and different frequencies of light waves will bend varying amounts upon passage through a prism. In this unit, we will investigate the dispersion of light in more detail, pondering the reasons why different frequencies of light bend or refract different amounts when passing through the prism.

Earlier in this unit, the concept of optical density was introduced. Different materials are distinguished from each other by their different optical densities. The optical density is simply a measure of the tendency of a material to slow down light as it travels through it.

As mentioned earlier, a light wave traveling through a transparent material interacts with the atoms of that material. When a light wave impinges upon an atom of the material, it is absorbed by that atom. The absorbed energy causes the electrons in the atom to vibrate.

If the frequency of the light The refraction of light through different does not match the resonance frequency of the vibrating electrons, then the light will be reemitted by the atom at the same frequency at which it impinged upon it.

The light wave then travels through the interatomic vacuum towards the next atom of the material. Once it impinges upon the next atom, the process of absorption and re-emission is repeated. The optical density of a material is the result of the tendency of the atoms of a material to maintain the absorbed energy of the light wave in the form of vibrating electrons before reemitting it as a new electromagnetic disturbance.

Thus, while a light wave travels through a vacuum at a speed of c 3. The index of refraction value n provides a quantitative expression of the optical density of a given medium. Materials with higher index of refraction values have a tendency to hold onto the absorbed light energy for greater lengths of time before reemitting it to the interatomic void.

The more closely that the frequency of the light wave matches the resonant frequency of the electrons of the atoms of a material, the greater the optical density and the greater the index of refraction. A light wave would be slowed down to a greater extent when passing through such a material What was not mentioned earlier in this unit is that the index of refraction values are dependent upon the frequency of light.

For visible light, the n value does not show a large variation with frequency, but nonetheless it shows a variation.

For instance for some types of glass, the n value for frequencies of violet light is 1. The absorption and re-emission process causes the higher frequency lower wavelength violet light to travel slower through crown glass than the lower frequency higher wavelength red light. It is this difference in n value for the varying frequencies and wavelengths that causes the dispersion of light by a triangular prism. Violet light, being slowed down to a greater extent by the absorption and re-emission process, refracts more than red light. Upon entry of white light at the first boundary of a triangular prism, there will be a slight separation of the white light into the component colors of the spectrum.

The Angle of Deviation The amount of overall refraction caused by the passage of a light ray through a prism is often expressed in terms of the angle of deviation. The angle of deviation is the angle made between the incident ray of light entering the first face of the prism and the refracted ray that emerges from the second face of the prism.

Because of the different indices of refraction for the different wavelengths of visible light, the angle of deviation varies with wavelength. Colors of the visible light spectrum that have shorter wavelengths BIV will deviated more from their original path than the colors with longer wavelengths ROY.

The emergence of different colors of light from a triangular prism at different angles leads an observer to see the component colors of visible light separated from each other. Of course the discussion of the dispersion of light by triangular prisms begs the following question: Why doesn't a square or rectangular prism cause the dispersion of a narrow beam of white light?

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The short answer is that it does. The long answer is provided in the following discussion and illustrated by the diagram below. Suppose that a flashlight could be covered with black paper with a slit across it so as to create a beam of white light.

And suppose that the beam of white light with its component colors unseparated were directed at an angle towards the surface of a rectangular glass prism. As would be expected, the light would refract towards the normal upon entering the glass and away from the normal upon exiting the glass.

But since the violet light has a shorter wavelength, it would refract more than the longer wavelength red light. The refraction of light at the entry location into the rectangular glass prism would cause a little separation of the white light.Refraction of Light.

Refraction: is the bending of light as it passes from one medium to another with different densities.

For example, the angle of refraction for the angle of incidence in water was 8°, while in syrup it was 10°. These results show that the speed of light in water or syrup is significantly slower than the speed of light in air.

The speed of light slowed down more in syrup, than in water. Refraction of light at the interface between two media of different refractive indices, with n 2 > n 1. Since the phase velocity is lower in the second medium (v 2.

So what is refraction? Refraction happens when light passes through an object of denser mass, such as water or glass. When this occurs, light is . Refraction of Light.

Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where its speed is different. The refraction of light when it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light ray toward the normal to the boundary between the two media.

Light – Reflection and Refraction Let us recall these laws – (i) The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection, and (ii) The incident ray, the normal to the mirror at the point of incidence.

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