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Refraction and the apparent slowing down of light

  1. Oct 2, 2009 #1
    I wish to understand why the speed of light slows down when it enters a medium such as glass or air.

    Is this best understood by treating light as a stream of particles or a wave?

    I have read that the speed of light (c) is a result of disturbance of the electromagnetic field. In contrast in media through which light is travelling the speed is a disturbance of the field which governs the position and speeds of the electron (in the material).

    Is their any snippet of mathematics which can show how the light slows down in the electron containing medium.

    Thank You
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2009 #2


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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