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Refractive Index of Liquids

  1. Sep 14, 2004 #1
    I have a transparent silicone model flow chamber which I would like to use for flow visualisation studies. Ideally I would like a fluid whose refractive index is the same as the silicone, hence minimising distortion of the field of view. The refractive index of the silicone model is approx 1.4. Do you know of any liquids which may be of use? Is it possible to change the refractive index of water without a large change in viscosity? I believe refractive distortion greatly depends on the density difference between materials. Is it possible to increase the refractive index by adding a secondary liquid which has low viscosity (i.e. Glycerine works but produces a liquid with a high viscosity)? i.e. I would ideally like a liquid with the viscosity of water and the refractive index of the silicone!

    Any help or advice would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2004 #2

    I don't exactly know what would work, but just remember that the refractive index of a substance is not proportional to its density. In some cases, a denser substance has a higher refractive index, but not always. For example, oil has a higher refractive index that water.
  4. Sep 20, 2004 #3
    Hey Christina, Um as i was told by my teacher dont use the term denser, say optical denser, because if it is physically denser it does not necessarily make the refractive index higher, and i lost marks on exams for that mistake... just a little tip :)
  5. Sep 20, 2004 #4
    And to dtdtdt
    As liquids

    Turpentine 1.472
    Chlorine (liq) 1.385
    Vodka 1.363
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