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MCAT Physics Question — Refractive Index

  • by John
  • Dec 24, 2014
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Physics, MCAT Question of the Day

Using the diagram below, what is the refractive index of glass?

 

refractive index of glass

 

A) sin60o/sin30o
B) sin30o/sin60o
C) cos60o/cos30o
D) cos60o/cos30o

 

Explanation

 

This question is testing your understanding of optics, specifically refraction. To solve this problem, you must use Snell’s Law, nairsinΘair = nglasssinΘglass, where n is the index of refraction and Θ is the angle between the line normal to the surface and the incident light.

 

Thus, nglass = nairsinΘair/sinΘglass

nglass = (1)sin60o/sin30o

 

making A the correct answer.

 

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