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Homework Help: Question about Snell's law and angle of deviation

  1. Nov 21, 2011 #1
    This isn't even a homework question but in my text book there is an example on how to find the angle of deviation in a prism. I understand how they got all the angles listed in the picture but what I cannot understand is how the angle of deviation can be found from 70 - 12 = 58 degrees (answer in the books example). It's probably a simple issue with my geometry but I'm having trouble figuring it out and the book isn't too clear. Thanks.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2011 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The exterior angle of a triangle is equal to the sum of the two interior, opposite angles.

    D is the exterior angle to the triangle in the middle of the prism.

    The left hand angle is 20o [40o + 30o + Xo = 90o]
    The right hand angle is 50o - 12o

    so 20o + 50o - 12o → 70o - 12o = 58o
  4. Nov 21, 2011 #3
    I knew it was just me forgetting a geometry rule. Thank you for your help.
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