Episode 316: Preparation for reflection and refraction topic

Looking ahead
The demonstration of refraction using a ripple tank is tricky, and it is a good idea to practise this.

Apparent depth

Main aims
Students will:

  • know how to justify the law of reflection by a wave diagram
  • know how to justify Snell’s law in terms of wave velocities
  • be able to perform calculations involving the refractive index
  • be able to perform calculations involving critical angle
  • know the benefits of fibre optic communication

Prior knowledge
Students should know:

  • the law of reflection
  • the law of refraction, or at least have a qualitative knowledge of refraction

Where this leads
This work explains the behaviour of light in terms of waves; this is particularly important as diffraction and interference follow (as the result of superposition of waves).

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Episode 316: Preparation for reflection and refraction topic (Word, 42 KB)