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SoL and refractive index

  1. Jan 30, 2005 #1
    ok i've been wondering about this for awhile

    when people say the speed of light slows down when going through an object (ie glass).

    does the speed of light actually slow down to 2x10^8 m/s

    or does the speed of light actually stay constant at 3x10^8, but the photons collide with the SiO molecules in the glass (or whatever), such that by the time the photons exit the glass, it will have taken 1.5x longer than another photon that totally bypassed the glass and travelled in a straight line

    i hope that general question im asking is clear, thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2005 #2


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    In materials photons are adsorbed and reemitted, this causes the delay which we interpret as a lower speed of light.
  4. Jan 30, 2005 #3
    ahh right.
    do you happen to know any websites that explain this?
    this is beyong the scope of our syllabus
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