PhysicsLAB Practice Problems
Basic Refraction Properties

Directions: On this worksheet you will examine several situations dealing with properties of the refraction of light.

Question 1  A beam of light traveling in air has an angle of incidence of 35.0º when it enters a transparent medium which has an index of refraction of 1.24. What is the angle of refraction of the beam inside the medium?
Question 2  If the wavelength of the beam of light in Question #1 while traveling through air is 549 nm, then what is its wavelength while traveling in the transparent medium?
Question 3  What is the frequency of the light in Question #2 as it is traveling through the transparent medium?
Question 4  What is the average speed of light as the beam in Question #2 travels through the transparent medium?
Question 5  A ray of light travels from air, medium #1, into medium #2 as shown below.

If the angle q1 equals 52.5º and q2 = 25.1º then determine the second medium's index of refraction.
Question 6  Which diagram correctly illustrates the path a beam of light, initially traveling through air, as it enters and exits a right triangular prism having an index of 1.24?
Question 7  If the length of the light's path inside the prism is measured to be 3.5 cm, how much time was required for the light to pass through the prism and back into the air?
Question 8  Which of the following statements are true about a beam of light when it transitions into a medium with a lower index of refraction?
  1. its frequency decreases
  2. its wavelength decreases
  3. its speed decreases
  4. its refracted angle is less than its angle of incidence

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Catharine H. Colwell
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