Refractive index in the ultraviolet region

In summary, when white light is refracted in a prism, we can see that blue color has the strongest refraction. But the electromagnetic radiation with very short wavelength (X-rays) are not refracted by an amorphous solid such as glass: most part of the radiation goes straight through the glass with no interaction.
  • #1
Gruxg
41
2
When white light is refracted in a prism, we can see that blue color has the strongest refraction: the shorter the wavelength, the strongest the refraction. But the electromagnetic radiation with very short wavelength (X-rays) are not refracted by an amorphous solid such as glass: most part of the radiation goes straight through the glass with no interaction.

Since the behaviour is so different in the optical and the X-ray regions, I wonder what happens between both, i.e, in the UV region. Does the refractive index increase with the frequency of the wave until some point and then fall quickly, or what happens exactly?

Thanks in advance!
 
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  • #2
Gruxg said:
most part of the radiation goes straight through the glass with no interaction.
This is in most cases not true, X-rays are well known to be easily absorbed by common medium, the absorption is due to the electronic transition in the medium that typically takes place within XUV and X-rays region.
Gruxg said:
Since the behaviour is so different in the optical and the X-ray regions, I wonder what happens between both, i.e, in the UV region. Does the refractive index increase with the frequency of the wave until some point and then fall quickly, or what happens exactly?
The refractive index profile is determined by the structure (e.g. the bonding types, crystal properties etc) of the medium, where there are transitions in the level structure, there can be found strong absorption. One of such regions is the UV region as explained above. Now absorption and refractive index are mutually-dependent quantity, in particular it can be shown that whenever there is an absorption peak, there will also be a region where anomalous dispersion takes place. In the refractive index graph vs frequency, anomalous dispersion is shown as a negative slope region.
 
  • #3
OK, I was inaccurate when I said that "most part of the radiation goes straight through the glass with no interaction", but I meant that the part of the X-ray beam that is transmitted through the glass (not absorbed or scattered) goes straight, does not undergoes any "deflection" like the light refracted in the prism. But I have just found out that X-rays can be refracted in the boundary between two media, it's just only that the refractive index is typicaly very very close to unity in that region of the spectrum and the deflection is tiny compared to ordinary light refraction.

Could you attach or link any example of these graphs?
Thank you!
 
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  • #4

Related to Refractive index in the ultraviolet region

1. What is the refractive index in the ultraviolet region?

The refractive index in the ultraviolet region refers to the measure of how much light bends when passing through a material in the ultraviolet wavelength range. It is a dimensionless quantity that determines the speed of light in a vacuum compared to its speed in a particular medium.

2. How does the refractive index change in the ultraviolet region?

The refractive index in the ultraviolet region typically increases as the wavelength decreases. This means that materials have a higher refractive index in the ultraviolet region than in the visible or infrared regions.

3. What factors affect the refractive index in the ultraviolet region?

The refractive index in the ultraviolet region can be affected by several factors, including the molecular structure and composition of the material, as well as the wavelength and intensity of the incident light.

4. Why is the refractive index in the ultraviolet region important?

The refractive index in the ultraviolet region is important in various fields such as optics, materials science, and chemistry. It is used to characterize and identify materials, as well as to design and optimize optical components for ultraviolet light applications.

5. Can the refractive index in the ultraviolet region be measured?

Yes, the refractive index in the ultraviolet region can be measured using various techniques such as ellipsometry, interferometry, and spectroscopy. These methods involve measuring the change in the direction or intensity of light as it passes through a material in the ultraviolet wavelength range.

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