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Light travelling through differing mediums

  1. Aug 9, 2011 #1
    If light traveling in water hits an interface with air at angle x, what is the angle it will make when traveling in air?

    what factors do i need to consider for this apart from:

    different lights travel at different speeds

    different mediums will affect angle of incidence
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2011 #2


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    The thing you're looking for is probably called "Snell's law" (named after a Dutch scientist with the fancy Latin name Snellius):
    [tex] \frac{\sin \theta_1}{\sin \theta_2} = \frac{c_1}{c_2} = \frac{n_2}{n_1} [/tex]
    where [itex]n_i = c / c_i[/itex] and [itex]c_i[/itex] is the speed of light in medium i (and c in vacuum).
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