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Homework Help: Angle of Refraction

  1. Feb 9, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Light of wavelength 600 nm in air enters a piece of glass. The speed of light in this glass is 0.650 times the speed in air. Calculate the angle of refraction, Given that the angle of incidence of this light ray is 40°.

    2. Relevant equations
    Snell's Law
    Sin(θ1)/sin(θ2) = v1/v2

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I calculated the wavelength to be 390 nm. (600nm x 0.65). I know the Speed of light in glass is less than an air so light is going to slow down and bend towards the normal, therefore the angle of refraction will be less then the incident 40°. I know the practice problem answer is 24.7 degrees. I need help bridging the gap, so to understand this problem. Please help! Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2014 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Hi Oneablegal! :smile:

    First … did you set your calculator to degrees (not radians)? :wink:

    (If so, please show how far you've got.)
  4. Feb 9, 2014 #3

    Hi! Yes, the calculator is set to degrees. This is as far as I have gotten. I have tried to set this up numerous times, with angle 1 set equal to sin(40) or 0.745113. Angle 2 or the angle of refraction is unknown. V1 I have as 1.00 and V2 as 0.65. I am lost from here...

    Thanks again!!
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  5. Feb 10, 2014 #4


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    Science Advisor
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    Hi Oneablegal! :smile:

    (just got up :zzz:)
    he he! :biggrin:

    No it isn't!

    sin(40 radians) = 0.745113 :wink:
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