Refraction is the differential bending of light as it passes through a medium, and it is used in a wide variety of applications throughout industry and the sciences as well as in living bodies. Light refracted through an optical prism spreads out into a spectrum of its constituent colors and allows individual wavelengths to be examined on their own.Continue Reading
Refraction provides scientists with data about the composition and structure of bodies in space. Outside of the laboratory, refracted light is central to the operation of fiber optic cables. By constructing a cable made from differentiated layers of glass, each with its own refractive index, it is possible to send a pulse of light down a cable for a considerable distance. The refractive gradient between layers of glass inside the cable keeps light of the desired wavelength traveling forward along the cable rather than being absorbed or redirected in a way that interrupts the signal.
Optical glass has a refractive index that is used to bend incoming light to form a coherent picture for people with poor eyesight. When the natural lens of the eye, which also refracts light, becomes stiff or develops a shape that interferes with images, a pair of corrective glasses with the right refractive index usually restores normal vision.Learn more about Optics & Waves
Light is composed of photons, which are discrete collections of energy with wave and particle properties, while sound travels as a wave through a medium, which makes it travel more slowly. While light and sound have some similarities due to wave-particle duality, their physical attributes differ significantly.Full Answer >
When light passes through a transparent medium such as water or glass, the electrons slow down, which causes the light to refract. As light enters the transparent medium, the wavelength colors bend at different angles to create a rainbow. .Full Answer >
The lateral diffraction of light is the distance a ray of light moves when passing through a denser medium, such as glass. When light enters glass, the beam is bent, but upon exiting the glass into the air again, it returns to its previous angle, resulting in a lateral movement of the light beam.Full Answer >
Although both sound and light are fast by human standards, light is far faster than sound because waves of sound must propagate through a medium, while the speed of light is tied to fundamental universal constants. Light travels at about 300,000 kilometers per second, and the speed of sound is usually around 300 meters per second.Full Answer >