Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Refraction index vs. wavelength?

  1. Dec 1, 2008 #1
    How does the refraction index vary with wavelength?

    For example, if you take light that initially has just one wavelength and disperse it through a prism and calculate the different indices for each wavelength. I'm guessing they'll be different... Is it linear? exponential? etc.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2008 #2
    I'm not sure of the exact physics defining the relationship between the refractive index and the wavelength, but there is an empirical formula relating these two variables known as Cauchy's Formula:

    n = A + B/(lambda)^2, where A and B are constants, n is the refractive index at wavelength, lambda.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?