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Homework Help: Reflection loss and refractive index

  1. Feb 14, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    "Calculate the reflection loss when a beam of radiant energy passes through an empty quartz cell assuming the refractive index of quartz is 1.55"

    2. Relevant equations

    I/I_i = ((n2-n1) / (n2+n1))^2

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm taking the refractive index through the empty cell to be 1 (is that right?)

    I/I_i = ((n2-n1) / (n2+n1))^2
    = ((1.55-1)/(1.55+1))^2 = 0.047 or 4.7%

    The answer in the back of the book is 17.3 %

    what am i doing wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2012 #2
    If the light is passing through the quartz, how many times does it get refracted?

    You are right in assuming the refractive index inside is 1.
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