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Apparent depth with multiple indices of refraction

  1. Oct 24, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A penny is located at the bottom of a barrel of water 1m deep. There is a 20cm thick layer of oil on top of the water. To an observer at normal incidence, what is the apparent depth of the penny. n for water is 1.33, for oil it is 1.5

    2. Relevant equations
    Snell's law, lots of ray diagrams

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have already shown that to an observer looking through just the water, the apparent depth is 0.75m. I am just not sure how to generalize this for the other layer. Can someone point me in the right direction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2009 #2
    The method is the same, only you have to use Snell's law twice, at the water oil, and oil/air boundaries.
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