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Homework Help: Physics - prism in water

  1. Jan 23, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    If one immersed the prism in water (nw=1.33), would it be possible to obtain total internal reflection within the prism? Explain.

    2. Relevant equations

    n1sin(θc)=n2sin(90o), where nglass=1.5.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I tried to solve for the unknown angle θc. Total internal reflection happens at θ1 >= θc. But I can't find which is n1 and n2, and which angle is which. And I am not even sure I am using the right equation for this problem. Is this problem having to do with calculation or related to theory or law? I would be very appreciated if you give me a hand.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper

    n1 is the refractive index on the side of θc (i.e. the water side), while n2 is the refractive index on the side of the 90 degrees. That said, you need to show us what the prism looks like. That makes a big difference to the answer of the question.
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