What is Refraction angle: Definition and 17 Discussions

In physics, refraction is the change in direction of a wave passing from one medium to another or from a gradual change in the medium. Refraction of light is the most commonly observed phenomenon, but other waves such as sound waves and water waves also experience refraction. How much a wave is refracted is determined by the change in wave speed and the initial direction of wave propagation relative to the direction of change in speed.
For light, refraction follows Snell's law, which states that, for a given pair of media, the ratio of the sines of the angle of incidence θ1 and angle of refraction θ2 is equal to the ratio of phase velocities (v1 / v2) in the two media, or equivalently, to the indices of refraction (n2 / n1) of the two media.

















{\displaystyle {\frac {\sin \theta _{1}}{\sin \theta _{2}}}={\frac {v_{1}}{v_{2}}}={\frac {n_{2}}{n_{1}}}}

Optical prisms and lenses use refraction to redirect light, as does the human eye. The refractive index of materials varies with the wavelength of light, and thus the angle of the refraction also varies correspondingly. This is called dispersion and causes prisms and rainbows to divide white light into its constituent spectral colors.

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  1. R

    Refraction of light question -- Flintglass submerged in oil

    Hello, hopefully the question made sense, it was hard to translate. i attached a photo about the question. I started with n1=1.4, sinΘ1=37◦ and n2=1.62 1.4(sin(37◦))=1.62sinΘ2 1.4(sin(37◦))/1.62=sinΘ2 arcsin(0.52)=31.34◦ Is it calculated correctly?
  2. M

    Optical Laser to refract/reflect water vapor and smoke.... angles?

    Building visibiity sensor... What is best angle to detect water vapor reflection from laser, and refraction? I plan to have two open cylindrical containers painted flat black and put inside each other so the overlap is about 0.5-1" (adj to limit ambient light vs airflow). Laser is cheap red...
  3. Manasan3010

    Refractive index using a traveling microscope

    For finding refractive index of a glass block, we use n=real-depth / apparent-depth For calculating apparent depth microscope is raised vertically until a clear focus is obtained of the underlying mark beneath the glass blob. Given that microscope is perpendicular to the mark, Wouldn't the...
  4. M

    I Sunlight refraction at sunset at different latitudes?

    “Sunlight due to refraction is greater in higher latitudes than at the equator because of shallower angles of incidence to horizon. It takes longer for Sun to go down half a degree at sunset at shallower angles.” When I draw a diagram of sun rays incident towards the earth, the angle appears to...
  5. H

    Find the formula for refraction angle?

    Homework Statement Homework Equations Snell's Law sin tetha1/v1 = sin tetha2/v2 n1 = c/v1 n1 . sin tetha 1 = n2 . sin tetha 2 The Attempt at a Solution I try to make triangle out of line PO, so that it will have correlation to tetha, since o = center, then let's say there's point C at...
  6. K

    How does light travel through semi-opaque surfaces?

    So i was wondering...if you have 2 surfaces of different areas..one bigger and one smaller...and the one with a smaller area disperses light through a lens..does more light travel through the one with the lens or the other or does the same amount of light travel through both? To get further...
  7. E

    Field frequency and angle of incidence in optical waveguides

    Hello! In this previous post, most replies point out that it is not possible to predict the angle of refraction (and so the frequency) at a certain interface, given the wavelength of the original signal. In particular, But when dealing with optical waveguides, it seems to be different. I am...
  8. S

    Apparent depth equation proving

    Homework Statement a fish at a depth d underwater.Takes the index of refraction of water as 4/3 show that when the fish is viewed at an angle of refraction θ , the apparent depth z of the fish is z = (3d cosθ )/ √ (7 + 9 cos2 θ) Homework Equations snell's law n1 x sin θ1 = n2 x sin θ2 The...
  9. A

    Investigate one factor that affects the angle of refraction

    Statement: I need a suitable method and factor to investigate ONE factor that affects the angle of refraction. It has to be related to the context of everyday life and glasses, i.e. how glasses are used to focus light and the light focused is that of a refracted ray. Therefore factors such as...
  10. B

    Calculate intial angle of a refracted wave

    Please see attached image for problem and brief description of attempted solution.
  11. G

    Calculate Refraction Angle of Light Falling to Aquarium Water

    Homework Statement I need to calculate refraction angle of light, if light ray is falling to the surface of aquarium water from the bottom in the angle of 60 degrees, n for water = 1,33 Homework Equations sinφ2=(n1×sinφ1) /n2 The Attempt at a Solution So i get sinφ2=1,33*0,866( meant as...
  12. applestrudle

    Does the incidence angle and refraction angle have to add up to 90

    does the incidence angle and refraction angle have to add up to 90 I'm trying to figure out the geometry of thin film refraction!
  13. K

    Feynman's Lectures Refraction Angle question

    Hey there, recently been studying Optics in Feynman's book vol.1 and came across his geometrical approach of Fermat's least time theorem and its application on refraction. So he illustrates refraction geometrically like this (attached jpeg for those without the book) and so he goes on to say...
  14. F

    Solving for Refraction Angle of Light Ray Across Parallel Plate

    Homework Statement We have a parallel, transparent plate. The plate has an incidence of refraction that is dependent on a transverse coordinate. (i.e. the plate is perpendicular to z direction, and the refractive index changes along x direction) n(x) = 1.5/(1 - x/0.13) It is observed...
  15. B

    Calculating the Refraction Angle of a Light Ray Incident on a Prism

    Homework Statement A light ray is incident on a prism whose apex angle is 65.0°. The ray is incident at θa and leaves the prism with θa = θd. The refractive index of the prism glass is 1.54. Calculate θ ans:55.8° Homework Equations n1sin\phi1=n2sin\phi2 The Attempt at a...
  16. M

    Light Refraction: Direction of Bend

    For each of the following cases, will the light rays be bent toward or away from the normal? a. ni > nr, where the angle of ni = 20 b. ni < nr, where the angle of ni = 20 c. from air to glass with an angle of incidence of 30 d. from glass to air with an angle of incidence of 30 for...
  17. K

    Figuring Out the Refraction Angle of Light Through a Glasprisma

    Hi! I'm trying to figure out what angel the light-wave will leave the glasprisma (it enters the glasprisma from the air). http://home.tiscali.se/21355861/bilder/prisma1.JPG So I need to use Snell's law n_{1}sin\theta_1 = n_{2}sin\theta_2 n for the glasprisma equals 1.6 So...