Laws of Refraction of Light | Don't Memorise | Summary and Q&A

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April 4, 2018
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Laws of Refraction of Light | Don't Memorise

TL;DR

When light passes through a transparent object, it partially reflects, partially refracts, and partially absorbs. Laws of reflection state that the angle of incidence and angle of reflection are equal, and all rays lie in the same plane. Laws of refraction state that light bending depends on the optical density of the medium and can be explained using Snell's law.

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Key Insights

  • 🙂 When light passes through a transparent object, it can reflect, refract, and be absorbed.
  • 😌 Laws of reflection state that the angle of incidence and reflection are equal, and all rays lie in the same plane.
  • 🙂 Refraction occurs due to a change in speed of light when it crosses the boundary of two media of different optical densities.
  • 🫰 Snell's law of refraction relates the incident and refracted angles with the refractive indices of the media.
  • 🙂 The refractive index is the ratio of the speeds of light in the incident and refractive media.
  • 🙂 Snell's law can be understood in terms of the speed of light, absolute refractive indices, or the sine of the angles.
  • 🙂 The laws of refraction are fundamental in understanding how light travels through different media.

Transcript

What happens when light is incident on the surface of a transparent object? Consider a glass slab and suppose the narrow beam of light is incident on one side. The beam of light ‘partially reflects’, ‘partially refracts’ and it's even ‘partially absorbed’ by the object. In the past, we have already discussed laws of reflection. Do you remember thos... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the laws of reflection?

The laws of reflection state that the angle of incidence and angle of reflection are equal, and all rays lie in the same plane.

Q: How does refraction occur?

Refraction occurs when light passes across the boundary of two media and changes direction due to a change in speed. It can bend towards or away from the normal depending on the optical density of the media.

Q: What is Snell's law?

Snell's law of refraction relates the incident and refracted angles with the refractive indices of the media. It states that the ratio of the sines of the angles is equal to the ratio of the refractive indices.

Q: How can the refractive index be defined?

The refractive index is the extent to which a medium changes the speed and direction of light. It is the ratio of the speed of light in the incident medium to the speed of light in the refractive medium.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Light incident on a transparent object partially reflects, refracts, and absorbs.

  • Laws of reflection state that the angle of incidence and angle of reflection are equal, and all rays lie in the same plane.

  • Laws of refraction state that the direction change of light depends on the optical density and can be explained using Snell's law.

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