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 30.0º when it enters a transparent medium which has an index of refraction of 1.51. 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 415 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 45º and q2 = 29.9º 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 1.51?
Question 7  If the length of the light's path inside the prism is measured to be 3 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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Mark Acton