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Problem 34.7: Total internal reflection

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Four materials are next to each other, and the change in the index of refraction from one to the next is the same. (In other words, if the index of refraction of region A is 1.5 AND the index of refraction of region B is 2, then the index of refraction in region C is 2.5, and so forth.) You can move the beam source, but you cannot change the angle of the light. You can use the movable green protractor and click-drag to measure angles (angle is given in degrees). Restart.

What is the index of refraction of region D? Explain your observations as you drag the source through each of the different materials. (Why is there total internal reflection between some interfaces, but not others?)

Problem authored by Anne J. Cox.

Physlets were developed at Davidson College and converted from Java to JavaScript using the SwingJS system developed at St. Olaf College.

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