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Homework Help: Need and explanation of an Optics principle.

  1. Feb 8, 2006 #1
    There is a laser beam with a diameter D, in air that strikes a flat smooth piece of glass with angle @ and index of refraction of n. I need to derive and equation for the diameter of the beam in the glass wiht respect with n D, and @.
    I want to know why the beam's diameter would be effected by the index of refraction. Can you give me a hint of what laws and principles I should use.
    Anyway I am going to reread my textbook and class notes again to see if I missed anything that could be applied to this situation.
    I want to thank you for your help, in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2006 #2


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    Draw a picture and and use Snell's law. I`m sure you can imagine in the extreme case of infinite refraction index and glancing incidence that the beam in the medium will clearly have a larger diameter.
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