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MCAT Physics Question — Prisms

Which of the following diagrams accurately illustrates the pathway of light through the prism given that the prism has a lower refractive index than the surrounding fluid?


prism pathway of light

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This question requires the examinee to trace the pathway of light through an object immersed in a fluid with a higher refractive index. Initially, the light enters the prism and speeds up, causing the light to refract away from the normal, eliminating choices A and B. As the light exits the object and reenters the fluid, the light slows down and refracts towards the normal surface. Thus, C is the correct answer.

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