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Light refracting through a plastic sphere

  1. Feb 4, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A small light bulb is placed 10.0 cm from the center of a plastic sphere of radius 1.0 cm
    and refractive index 1.40. Where is the image of the bulb?

    2. Relevant equations
    1) Thin lens equation
    2) Thick lens equation

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I realize that I'm going to have to treat this object as a lens, but I'm not totally sure about whether to use the thin lens formula or not. Would I treat this object as a "thick" lens and use its diameter as its thickness? Or is the spherical nature of the object going to require another equation? Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2014 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    Do you have a definition for a thin lens? If not, try Wikipedia.
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