Question
Sat March 17, 2012 By:
 

please explain in detail the refractive index and its calculations. How to find the refractive index ??

Expert Reply
Sat March 17, 2012
The ratio of the velocity of light in vacuum to the velocity of light in a medium is referred to as the medium's refractive index, denoted by the letter n. The velocity of light in a vacuum is 3.0 x 108 m/s or about 186,000 miles/s. We can think of the refractive index of the water as something like its density. Air is not very dense at all (its refractive index is 1.0003), so the people run through quite easily; but when they run into water, which is denser than air (and has a refractive index of 1.333), the people slow down and their line bends at the ocean/beach interface. For light, the index of refraction n equals the ratio of the velocities of light in vacuum (c) to that in the medium (v), that is n = c/v.
 
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