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Angle of Refraction

  1. Feb 5, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The index of refraction for a diamond for red light, 656 nm, is 2.410, while that for blue light, 434 nm, is 2.450. Suppose white light is incident on the diamond at 30.0 degrees. Find the angles of refraction for these two colors.

    2. Relevant equations
    n1sinangle of incidence= n2sinangle of refraction

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm assuming that I use Snell's law, to find the two angles of refraction. I'm not sure if this is the right formula to use, however.

    First, I changed the formula to be:
    sinangle of refraction=n1sinangle of incidence/n2

    Sin (r) = (2.410 x sin30)/(2.450)
    =29.5 degrees for blue

    and the second:
    sin (r) = (2.450 x sin30)/(2.410)
    =30.6 degrees for red

    I don't know if this was the right way to do it... And I'm not sure if I attached the right color refraction to the right angle for the answers...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    White light means that the light is composed of the red and blue.

    The red light will bend at one angle across the air interface with the diamond and blue at another.

    The index of refraction then is changing from air (n=1) to that of red for the red angle and that of blue for the blue angle.

    The difference in angle will create a spectrum separation like a prism produces from sunlight right?
  4. Feb 5, 2009 #3
    Okay, that makes sense. So all I have to do is change the n to 1.00 and it'll work. Thanks!
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