1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Wavelength of light in water

  1. Dec 8, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    "Light of wavelength 0.527 µm (in air) enters the water in a swimming pool. The speed of light in water is 0.700 times the speed in air. What is the wavelength of the light in water?"

    2. Relevant equations

    v = c /n, where n = 1.33 ,the index of refraction

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The wavelength of light in air is given. [tex]\lambda[/tex]=0.527
    I looked up the speed of light in air -- 299704644.54 m/s
    I also know that the speed of light in water is 0.700(299704644.54)

    I am not sure how to relate these numbers to v = c/n though, or the equation to use to find the [tex]\lambda[/tex] of light in water. Can anyone offer any insight? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2008 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What's the relationship between speed, wavelength, and frequency for any wave? Which of those parameters remains unchanged when light travels from one medium to another?
  4. Dec 8, 2008 #3
    frequency = v / [tex]\lambda[/tex], so I would think the frequency would be left unchanged.

    So I'm thinking I could do:

    f = (speed of light in air)/0.527

    to solve for the frequency, then use that value to solve for the wavelength of light in water?
  5. Dec 8, 2008 #4

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor


    OK, but even easier is to realize that the ratio v/λ must remain fixed, so λ decreases by the same factor that the speed decreases.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Wavelength of light in water
  1. Wavelength of light (Replies: 6)

  2. Wavelength of light (Replies: 4)