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Maximum angle of the refracted light beam

  1. Jun 19, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A light ray falls from the air (##n_a=1##) into the center of the upper surface of a long cilindrical glass tube with an index of refraction ##n_t=3/2##. The tube is submerged into water all the way to the upper edge and the waters index of refraction is ##n_w=4/3##. What is the maximum entry angle of the light ray at which it will only be traveling inside the glass?
    a)##arcsine(1/6)##
    b)##arcsin(\sqrt{15}/6)##
    c)##arcsin(\sqrt{17}/6)##
    2. Relevant equations
    3. The attempt at a solution
    I gues the snells law must be used ##n_1sin(x_1)=n_2sin(x_2)## but i dont get the problem. What is meant by maximum entry angle at which the beam will be traveling inside the cylinder only and how do i get that? I dont know my starting points. Could you hint?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2016 #2

    haruspex

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    The light ray strikes the top of the cylinder at some angle. Refraction rotates it to a steeper angle within the glass. What might happen next?
     
  4. Jun 19, 2016 #3
    I thought about it and i think the refracted ray inside the glass should come to the edge at a critical angle so that all of it gets reflected to the glass again and so on right?
     
  5. Jun 19, 2016 #4

    haruspex

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    Yes, though I'm not sure what you mean by "and so on" there.
     
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