1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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

  1. Jul 2, 2004 #1
    will refreactoin index of water or any material will change its refreaction index when temperature changes? What make the speed of light slower in air compare to vacum.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Refractive index changes with temperature for most materials. It can also be changed by stress and electric fields.

    Light always travels at "c", but when travelling through matter, it will be absorbed and re-emitted many times. Each absorption and re-emission takes a small amount of time.

  4. Jul 2, 2004 #3
    the dude is right!
  5. Jul 2, 2004 #4
    You can see the temperature effect by looking at the edge of a bulding. The "heat waves" you see are caused by the index of refraction changing from the heat escaping the building.
  6. Jul 2, 2004 #5
    By heating/cooling a material the density will change. Which will inturn change the index of refraction.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Refraction index
  1. Index of refraction (Replies: 1)

  2. Refractive index (Replies: 13)

  3. Refractive index (Replies: 14)

  4. Refractive index (Replies: 2)