Snell's Law - Maple Help

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Snell's Law

Main Concept

Snell's Law, also known as the Law of Refraction, is a formula describing the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction when light (or other electromagnetic radiation) passes between two media:

 $\frac{\mathrm{sin}\left({\mathrm{θ}}_{1}\right)}{\mathrm{sin}\left({\mathrm{θ}}_{2}\right)}=\frac{{v}_{1}}{{v}_{2}}=\frac{{n}_{2}}{{n}_{1}}=\frac{{\mathrm{λ}}_{1}}{{\mathrm{λ}}_{2}}$ ${\mathrm{θ}}_{k}$ is the angle measured from the normal (the line perpendicular to the surface) is the velocity of light in each medium (m/s) is the refractive index in each medium (no unit) ${\mathrm{λ}}_{k}$ is the wavelength of the light in each medium (m)

 Total Internal Reflection Snell's Law is valid only as long as $\mathrm{sin}\left({\mathrm{θ}}_{1}\right)$ is no greater than $\frac{{n}_{2}}{{n}_{1}}$. When , i.e. light travels from a medium of a higher index of refraction to one with a lower refractive index, the angle ${\mathrm{θ}}_{c}$ defined by is called the critical angle. This angle is the largest possible incident angle which will create a refracted ray. As the incident angle ${\mathrm{θ}}_{1}$ increases towards ${\mathrm{θ}}_{c}$, the proportion of the light refracted through the surface decreases and the proportion reflected increases. When ${\mathrm{θ}}_{1}\ge {\mathrm{θ}}_{c}$, all light is reflected, a situation known as Total Internal Reflection.

Click on the graph or slide the slider to change the angle of incidence.

${n}_{1}$ =

${n}_{2}$=

Angle of incidence  =  degrees

A list of refractive indices

 Material Index of refraction Vacuum 1 Air 1.003 Water 1.33 Whale Oil 1.46 Crown Glass 1.52 Heavy Flint Glass 1.65 Diamond 2.42



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