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Homework Help: How is lateral displacement (reflection/refraction) derived?

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    my book is only introductory and they only gave me the equation S = t*sin( theta1 -theta2)/cos(theta2), i like to know how its derived so i can better understand and memorize this... i know i can probably work this out myself but i dunno where to start

    i am assuming it has something to do with snells law and trig, but im bad at those
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2
    Lateral displacement of what, exactly? It might help if you tell us what the the variables stand for.
  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3
    when light goes from a less dense media to a more dense media (air to glass), it is refracted. if its a glass slab, it will be refracted again as it exits the slab. S = lateral displacement of the incidence ray. t = the width of the slab, theta 1 is the angle of incidence while theta 2 is the angle of refraction
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