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CBSE Class 10 Answered

What is the difference between absolute refractive index of a medium and the relative refractive index of two mediums? What is the relation between them? 
Asked by manishapatel43387 | 25 Nov, 2021, 07:37: PM
Expert Answer
Absolute refractive index: When the light is going from vacuum to another medium, then the value of refractive index is called the absolute refractive index.
 
Relative refractive index: When the light goes from one medium ( other than vacuum or air) to another medium then that refractive index is called relative refractive index. 
 
Note: Refractive index of vacuum or air is 1.  
 

The relative refractive index of medium 2 with respect to medium 1 is given as,

begin mathsize 12px style straight n subscript 21 equals fraction numerator Speed space of space light space in space medium space 1 over denominator Speed space of space light space in space medium space 2 end fraction end style = equals n subscript 2 over n subscript 1 equals v subscript 1 over v subscript 2

 

The absolute refractive index is given as,

begin mathsize 14px style straight n subscript straight m equals fraction numerator Speed space of space light space in space vacuum over denominator Speed space of space light space in space medium end fraction end style 

Relation between absolute refractive index and relative refractive index can be wrtitten as 

n subscript 21 equals n subscript 2 over n subscript 1 equals v subscript 1 over v subscript 2


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