22 May 2011

Refraction of Light

Everybody knows what a reflection is. You look at yourself in the mirror and you get the reflection of your face. Now that's reflection.

But what is refraction?
According to Physics, refraction in the simplest way can be defined as the bending of light when light passes through a medium (i.e glass, water, etc.).

As for students, you may have difficulty in remembering what's the direction of light after passing through medium. Here's a technique of remembering that I came up with.

So the trick is, for the bottom medium which is denser or have a higher refractive index, n just write the word 'denser' from the normal line. Do the same for the less dense medium only this time write the word 'less dense' as shown in the figure above. Now compare those pictures. The medium which is denser is close to the normal line and the less dense medium is further from the normal line. Why? Because when you write the words 'denser', it takes up less space compared to the word 'less dense'.

Now, isn't this much easier for you students to memorize how light will bend after passing through a medium? All you have to do is write the word 'dense' or 'less dense' from the normal line, and you have your answer of how near or far the light will bend with respect to the normal line.


Ileane Smith said...

Thank you for the physics lesson my friend. I forgot some of this stuff. :)

Cyn P. said...

Sure, no problem!
It's just a way of remembering that I used during my school days! And I'll remember this for life!

I love to share it with my readers..

By the way, thanks for visiting my blog, Ileane!