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Refraction and bending of light

  1. Feb 15, 2012 #1
    please let me know what is the nature of force that bends the path of photon during refraction.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2012 #2


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    There is no such thing as 'force' in modern, quantum-mechanics, approach.

    In naive Newton's mechanistic model of light you may treat photon as a snooker ball, but not at the flat table, but rather on the one with one half lifted a bit comparing to other, so the photon receives impulse perpendicular to the refractive surface as crossing it.
  4. Feb 15, 2012 #3
    There is no force involved in refraction it is caused purely by difference in the velocity of light in the two materials with different refractive indices.
  5. Feb 15, 2012 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Please note that the rules for classical waves also don't have a force altering the direction a wave propagates in. When the index of refraction changes bewteen two mediums the waves will have their path altered if they are entering the new medium at anything other than a 0 or 90 degree angle.
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