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Homework Help: Refractive index question

  1. Jan 12, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    For substance X, the refractive index is nx. For another substance Y the refractive index ny. Show that the refractive index for light passing from x to y is nx/ ny.

    2. The attempt at a solution

    I'm finding it difficult to devise a solution, but I think the answer has a relation to the ratio of velocites to and from x and y.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2008 #2

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    So just write down that formula first and let's see where it goes.
  4. Jan 12, 2008 #3
    refractive index

    ny= vx/ vy
    nx= vy/vx

    ny/nx= 1 ?
  5. Jan 12, 2008 #4


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    The refractive index is veolcity in a perticular medium (i) compared to the veolcity in vacuum

    [tex]n_i = c/v_i[/tex]

    c is velocity in vacuum
  6. Jan 12, 2008 #5

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    You know it's wrong. Use the correct formula as given.
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