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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Formulation of didactic interest of the laws of refraction of light
Author(s): Guadalupe Martínez; Ángel Luis Pérez; María Isabel Suero; Francisco L. Naranjo

Paper Abstract

In this work, an alternative formulation of the laws of refraction of light is presented. The proposed formulation unifies the two classic laws of refraction, and it is shown the correspondence between the new and the classic formulations. This new formulation presents a remarkable didactic interest for the conceptual interpretation and resolution of classic problems related to the phenomenon of refraction of light, such as those proposed to students of geometric optics on their first year of college. As an example, this formulation is applied for the resolution of two refraction problems typically assigned to student of such educational level. Results and comments from the students are presented. Although rigorously formulated in this work, the new formulation can be stated from a didactic viewpoint, using everyday language, as follows: “When a ray is refracted, the only variation that undergoes its direction vector is that the parallel component to the surface separating two media (defined in the plane formed by the incident ray and the normal to the surface at the point of incidence) is multiplied by the relative refractive index between both media”.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 July 2014
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9289, 12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, 92890C (17 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2070285
Show Author Affiliations
Guadalupe Martínez, Univ. de Extremadura (Spain)
Ángel Luis Pérez, Univ. de Extremadura (Spain)
María Isabel Suero, Univ. de Extremadura (Spain)
Francisco L. Naranjo, Univ. de Extremadura (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9289:
12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
Manuel F. P. C. Martins Costa; Mourad Zghal, Editor(s)

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