Ranking materials in order of their refraction index.

• vf_one
In summary, the conversation discusses ranking materials according to their refractive indices and the factors that determine the speed and direction of a wave in a medium. It is determined that nA > nC > nB is the correct ranking, with nA being the highest refractive index. The reason for this is due to the angle of incidence being measured from the normal of the surface.
vf_one
Hi everyone

I'm having a bit of trouble solving this question. If anyone can help that would be awesome

Homework Statement
Rank the materials in the diagram according to their refractive indices from greatest to smallest (see attachment)

The attempt at a solution
The greater the refractive index of a material, the slower the wave will travel and therefore the more it will bend towards the normal.

From the diagram, the angle of refraction in medium C is smaller than the angle of incidence in medium A so nC > nA

The angle of incidence in medium C is smaller than the angle of refraction in medium B so nC > nB

the wave seems to travel a lot faster in medium B than A as it bends further away from the normal so nA>nB

So nC > nA > nB

But the answer is nA > nC > nB

Why is nA > nC??

Attachments

• refractive index.jpg
2.5 KB · Views: 785
Both the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction are measured from the normal of the surface.

ehild

1. What is the refraction index of a material?

The refraction index of a material is a measure of how much the material bends light as it passes through it. It is a unitless number that is typically between 1 and 2.

2. How is the refraction index of a material determined?

The refraction index of a material is determined by measuring the angle of incidence and angle of refraction of a light ray as it passes through the material. This can be done using a refractometer or other specialized equipment.

3. What factors influence the refraction index of a material?

The refraction index of a material is influenced by several factors, including the density, composition, and temperature of the material. The atomic and molecular structure of the material also plays a role.

4. Why is it important to rank materials in order of their refraction index?

Ranking materials in order of their refraction index is important because it allows us to understand how different materials interact with light. This information is useful in various fields, such as optics, materials science, and engineering.

5. What are some examples of materials with high and low refraction indices?

Materials with high refraction indices include diamond, water, and glass. Materials with low refraction indices include air, ice, and mineral oil. Generally, materials with denser and more tightly packed structures tend to have higher refraction indices.

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