How to understand the refractive index of metals

  • Thread starter zhanghe
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Main Question or Discussion Point

for an example, polycrystalline silver, its index is n=0.135 and k =3.999 at the wavelength of 633nm, what does the nk mean, is that telling us the wavelength in the silver equals 633/0.135 nm ? and how to calculate the refractive angle in the metal?
Give a good explanation, please.
 
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Dr Transport
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Silver is a metal, which has a skin depth, after which the incident radiation does not penetrate any further. Look in the later chapters of Born & Wolf, Principles of Optics in the chapter about optics of metals. The refractive index is a complex quantity in metals because of absorption.
 

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