1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How is refractive index a function of frequency?

  1. Feb 3, 2012 #1
    I recently came across the representation of n(ω) for refractive indices.
    I also scouted the internet for explanations but could find none, except one on 'complex refractive index' but I don't think that's quite it.

    So how exactly is refractive index a function of frequency?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2012 #2
    Cauchy came up with an empirical equation with constants characteristic of the media used.I'm assuming that advances have been made since Cauchys time and if so a search starting with something like "Cauchy's dispersion formula" might lead you in the right direction.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook