Topic covered

`color{blue}{star}` REFRACTION


`color{blue} ✍️`When a beam of light encounters another transparent medium, a part of light gets reflected back into the first medium while the rest enters the other. A ray of light represents a beam.

`color{blue} ✍️`The direction of propagation of an obliquely incident ray of light that enters the other medium, changes at the interface of the two media. This phenomenon is called refraction of light. Snell experimentally obtained the following laws of refraction:

`color{blue}{(i)}` The incident ray, the refracted ray and the normal to the interface at the point of incidence, all lie in the same plane.

`color{blue} {(ii)}` The ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of angle of refraction is constant. Remember that the angles of incidence (i) and refraction (r ) are the angles that the incident and its refracted ray make with the normal, respectively. We have

`color {blue}{(sin i)/(sinr) = n_(21)}`


`color{blue} ✍️`where `n_(21)` is a constant, called the refractive index of the second medium with respect to the first medium. Equation (9.10) is the well-known Snell’s law of refraction.

`color{blue} ✍️`We note that `n_(21)` is a characteristic of the pair of media (and also depends on the wavelength of light), but is independent of the angle of incidence. From Eq. (9.10), if `n_(21) > 1, r < i` , i.e., the refracted ray bends towards the normal. In such a case medium 2 is said to be optically denser (or denser, in short) than medium 1.

`color{blue} ✍️`On the other hand, if `n_(21) <1, r > i,` the refracted ray bends away from the normal. This is the case when incident ray in a denser medium refracts into a rarer medium.

`color {brown}bbul{"Important Note:"}`
Optical density should not be confused with mass density, which is mass per unit volume. It is possible that mass density of an optically denser medium may be less than that of an optically rarer medium (optical density is the ratio of the speed of light in two media). For example, turpentine and water. Mass density of turpentine is less than that of water but its optical density is higher.

`color{blue} ✍️`If `n_21` is the refractive index of medium `2` with respect to medium 1 and `n_12` the refractive index of medium `1` with respect to medium 2, then it should be clear that

`color {blue}{n_(12) = 1/(n_12)}`


`color{blue} ✍️`It also follows that if `n_(32)` is the refractive index of medium 3 with respect to medium 2 then `n_(32) = n_(31) × n_(12)`, where `n_(31)` is the refractive index of medium 3 with respect to medium 1.

`color{blue} ✍️`Some elementary results based on the laws of refraction follow immediately. For a rectangular slab, refraction takes place at two interfaces (air-glass and glass-air). It is easily seen from Fig. 9.9

that `r_2 = i_1,` i.e., the emergent ray is parallel to the incident ray—there is no deviation, but it does suffer lateral displacement/ shift with respect to the incident ray.

`color{blue} ✍️`Another familiar observation is that the bottom of a tank filled with water appears to be raised (Fig. 9.10).

`color{blue} ✍️`For viewing near the normal direction, it can be shown that the apparent depth, `(h_1)` is real depth `(h_2)` divided by the refractive index of the medium (water).

`color{blue} ✍️`The refraction of light through the atmosphere is responsible for many interesting phenomena. For example, the sun is visible a little before the actual sunrise and until a little after the actual sunset due to refraction of light through the atmosphere (Fig. 9.11).

`color{blue} ✍️`By actual sunrise we mean the actual crossing of the horizon by the sun. Figure 9.11 shows the actual and apparent positions of the sun with respect to the horizon.

`color{blue} ✍️`The figure is highly exaggerated to show the effect. The refractive index of air with respect to vacuum is 1.00029. Due to this, the apparent shift in the direction of the sun is by about half a degree and the corresponding time difference between actual sunset and apparent sunset is about `2` minutes . The apparent flattening (oval shape) of the sun at sunset and sunrise is also due to the same phenomenon.

Q 3108656508

The earth takes 24 h to rotate once about its axis. How much time does the sun take to shift by `1º` when viewed from the earth?
Class 12 Chapter 9 Example 5

Time taken for `360°` shift `= 24 h`
Time taken for `1°` shift `= 24//360 h = 4 min.`


`color{blue} ✍️`When light travels from an optically denser medium to a rarer medium at the interface, it is partly reflected back into the same medium and partly refracted to the second medium. This reflection is called the `"internal reflection."`

`color{blue} ✍️`When a ray of light enters from a denser medium to a rarer medium, it bends away from the normal, for example, the ray `AO_1` B in Fig. 9.12.

`color{blue} ✍️`The incident ray `AO_)1` is partially reflected `(O_1C)` and partially transmitted `(O_1B)` or refracted, the angle of refraction (r ) being larger than the angle of incidence (i ).

`color{blue} ✍️`As the angle of incidence increases, so does the angle of refraction, till for the ray `AO_3,` the angle of refraction is π/2. The refracted ray is bent so much away from the normal that it grazes the surface at the interface between the two media.
This is shown by the ray `AO_3` D in Fig. 9.12. If the angle of incidence is increased still further (e.g., the ray `AO_4),` refraction is not possible, and the incident ray is totally reflected. This is called total internal reflection.

`color{blue} ✍️`When light gets reflected by a surface, normally some fraction of it gets transmitted. The reflected ray, therefore, is always less intense than the incident ray, howsoever smooth the reflecting surface may be. In total internal reflection, on the other hand, no transmission of light takes place.

`color{blue} ✍️`The angle of incidence corresponding to an angle of refraction `90^o,` say `∠AO_3N`, is called the critical angle `(i_c )` for the given pair of media. We see from Snell’s law [Eq. (9.10)] that if the relative refractive index is less than one then, since the maximum value of `sin r` is unity, there is an upper limit to the value of `sin i` for which the law can be satisfied, that is, `i = i_c` such that

`color {blue}{sin i_c = n_(21)}`


`color{blue} ✍️`For values of i larger than `i_c`, Snell’s law of refraction cannot be satisfied, and hence no refraction is possible. The refractive index of denser medium `2` with respect to rarer medium `1` will be `n_(12) = 1//sini_c.` Some typical critical angles are listed in Table 9.1.


`color{blue} ✍️`All optical phenomena can be demonstrated very easily with the use of a laser torch or pointer, which is easily available nowadays.

`color{blue} ✍️`Take a glass beaker with clear water in it. Stir the water a few times with a piece of soap, so that it becomes a little turbid.

`color{blue} ✍️`Take a laser pointer and shine its beam through the turbid water. You will find that the path of the beam inside the water shines brightly. Shine the beam from below the beaker such that it strikes at the upper water surface at the other end.

`color{blue} ✍️`Do you find that it undergoes partial reflection (which is seen as a spot on the table below) and partial refraction [which comes out in the air and is seen as a spot on the roof; Fig. 9.13(a)]? Now direct the laser beam from one side of the beaker such that it strikes the upper surface of water more obliquely [Fig. 9.13(b)].

`color{blue} ✍️`Adjust the direction of laser beam until you find the angle for which the refraction above the water surface is totally absent and the beam is totally reflected back to water.

`color{blue} ✍️`This is total internal reflection at its simplest. Pour this water in a long test tube and shine the laser light from top, as shown in Fig. 9.13(c).

`color{blue} ✍️`Adjust the direction of the laser beam such that it is totally internally reflected every time it strikes the walls of the tube. This is similar to what happens in optical fibres. Take care not to look into the laser beam directly and not to point it at anybody’s face.

Total internal reflection in nature and its technological applications

`color{brown} {(i) bbul{"Mirage:"}}` On hot summer days, the air near the ground becomes hotter than the air at higher levels.
The refractive index of air increases with its density. Hotter air is less dense, and has smaller refractive index than the cooler air. If the air currents are small, that is, the air is still, the optical density at different layers of air increases with height.

`color{blue} ✍️`As a result, light from a tall object such as a tree, passes through a medium whose refractive index decreases towards the ground. Thus, a ray of light from such an object successively bends away from the normal and undergoes total internal reflection, if the angle of incidence for the air near the ground exceeds the critical angle. This is shown in Fig. 9.14(b).

`color{blue} ✍️`To a distant observer, the light appears to be coming from somewhere below the ground. The observer naturally assumes that light is being reflected from the ground, say, by a pool of water near the tall object. Such inverted images of distant tall objects cause an optical illusion to the observer.

`color{blue} ✍️`This phenomenon is called mirage. This type of mirage is especially common in hot deserts. Some of you might have noticed that while moving in a bus or a car during a hot summer day, a distant patch of road, especially on a highway, appears to be wet. But, you do not find any evidence of wetness when you reach that spot. This is also due to mirage.

`color{brown} {(ii) bbul{"Diamond:"}}` Diamonds are known for their spectacular brilliance.

`color{blue} ✍️`Their brilliance is mainly due to the total internal reflection of light inside them. The critical angle for diamond-air interface `(≅ 24.4^o)` is very small, therefore once light enters a diamond, it is very likely to undergo total internal reflection inside it.
Diamonds found in nature rarely exhibit the brilliance for which they are known. It is the technical skill of a diamond cutter which makes diamonds to sparkle so brilliantly. By cutting the diamond suitably, multiple total internal reflections can be made to occur.

`color{brown} {(iii) bbul{"Prism:"}}` Prisms designed to bend light by `90^o` or by `180^o` make use of total internal reflection [Fig. 9.15(a) and (b)].

`color{blue} ✍️`Such a prism is also used to invert images without changing their size [Fig. 9.15(c)]. In the first two cases, the critical angle `i_c` for the material of the prism must be less than `45^o`. We see from Table 9.1 that this is true for both crown glass and dense flint glass.

`color{brown} {(iv)bbul{"Optical fibres:"}}` Now-a-days optical fibres are extensively used for transmitting audio and video signals through long distances. Optical fibres too make use of the phenomenon of total internal reflection. Optical fibres are fabricated with high quality composite glass/quartz fibres.

`color{blue} ✍️`Each fibre consists of a core and cladding. The refractive index of the material of the core is higher than that of the cladding. When a signal in the form of light is directed at one end of the fibre at a suitable angle, it undergoes repeated total internal reflections along the length of the fibre and finally comes out at the other end (Fig. 9.16).

`color{blue} ✍️`Since light undergoes total internal reflection at each stage, there is no appreciable loss in the intensity of the light signal. Optical fibres are fabricated such that light reflected at one side of inner surface strikes the other at an angle larger than the critical angle.

`color{blue} ✍️`Even if the fibre is bent, light can easily travel along its length. Thus, an optical fibre can be used to act as an optical pipe. A bundle of optical fibres can be put to several uses.

`color{blue} ✍️`Optical fibres are extensively used for transmitting and receiving electrical signals which are converted to light by suitable transducers. Obviously, optical fibres can also be used for transmission of optical signals.

`color{blue} ✍️`For example, these are used as a ‘light pipe’ to facilitate visual examination of internal organs like esophagus, stomach and intestines. You might have seen a commonly available decorative lamp with fine plastic fibres with their free ends forming a fountain like structure.

`color{blue} ✍️`The other end of the fibres is fixed over an electric lamp. When the lamp is switched on, the light travels from the bottom of each fibre and appears at the tip of its free end as a dot of light.

`color{blue} ✍️`The fibres in such decorative lamps are optical fibres. The main requirement in fabricating optical fibres is that there should be very little absorption of light as it travels for long distances inside them.

`color{blue} ✍️`This has been achieved by purification and special preparation of materials such as quartz. In silica glass fibres, it is possible to transmit more than `95%` of the light over a fibre length of 1 km. (Compare with what you expect for a block of ordinary window glass `1` km thick.)