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What is refraction index?? And why does diamond split light up so well?? :)

Posted: 23-01-11 22:04 by VL

A refraction index of something is a measure of the speed of light in that something (for instance water). Still using water as an example: the refration index of water is 1.33 which means that in a vacuum light travels 1.33 timed faster then in water.

The equation for this is: n = velocity of light in a vacuum / velocity of light in medium

The medium is a substance that is not a vacuum.

I'm not sure why a diamond splits up light so well but I think it is because it has such a high refactive index and such small critical angle (24.5 degrees) so there is less chance of light escaping so it reflects of the inner surface of a diamond quite a few times.

Posted: 07-05-11 12:09 by Hannah