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Why does a wave-front need to be preserved (for light)?

  1. Mar 1, 2012 #1
    We are finishing up our unit on light in physics, and I was a little confused about refraction. What I want to know is why it happens. My teachers says that a wave front needs to be preserved for light, and to do this when transmitting through materials requires a change in direction. However, what I don't understand is why a wave-front has to be preserved. Why does the light "want" to stay in phase with the surrounding light? If you can explain it, that'd be great. Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2012 #2
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