why if a ray pass though different materials its direction changes?


by scientifico
Tags: direction, materials, pass
scientifico
scientifico is offline
#1
Dec30-12, 08:37 AM
P: 180
Hello, why if a ray pass though different materials its direction changes ? couldn't its propagation speed just increase or decrease without having to change the angle ?

Thank you
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking
CERN: World-record current in a superconductor
Beam on target: CEBAF accelerator achieves 12 GeV commissioning milestone
barryj
barryj is offline
#2
Dec30-12, 08:55 AM
P: 542
The way I was taught is that light has a wave front that is perpendicular to the direction of travel. When the wave front hits a different medium, one edge of the wave front enters the medium first and its velocity changes. This causes the wave front to rotate and change the direction of the ray.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Xray refraction and UV refraction border? General Physics 1
why light bends when it enters a different medium Classical Physics 3
behaviour of materials for computer graphics applications Quantum Physics 1
Reflection and Refraction, much index of refraction Introductory Physics Homework 6
Refraction Introductory Physics Homework 3