# Refraction Question

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#1
Hi all,

Just been going over refraction recently and just wanted something clearing up really. In the refractive index equation n(s)=c/c(s) does this equation only work with light rays travelling form air into a different transparent substance, or can 'c' be the speed of light in the first refractive index material and 'c(s)' is the speed of light in the second refractive index material it then travels through? and so is n(2) = c(1)/c(2) a equation i could use where c(1) would be the speed of light in the first medium and c(2) be the speed of light in the second medium and it would give you the refractive index of the second medium?

Sorry if that's hard to understand but thanks for any help!!
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7 years ago
#2
(Original post by TMCkins)
Hi all,

Just been going over refraction recently and just wanted something clearing up really. In the refractive index equation n(s)=c/c(s) does this equation only work with light rays travelling form air into a different transparent substance, or can 'c' be the speed of light in the first refractive index material and 'c(s)' is the speed of light in the second refractive index material it then travels through? and so is n(2) = c(1)/c(2) a equation i could use where c(1) would be the speed of light in the first medium and c(2) be the speed of light in the second medium and it would give you the refractive index of the second medium?

Sorry if that's hard to understand but thanks for any help!!
As far as I understand it the speed of light in a substance is 3*10^8/(the refractive index of that substance).If the speed of light in one substance was x then you would multiply by this substance's refractive index and then divide by the refractive index of the substance you need the speed of light in.
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