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Why is the refractive index of diamond the highest?Can it be explained by ray diagrams?
- alisha (age 16)
Although diamond has a very high index of refraction, 2.42, there are several other substances with higher values, for example Rutile (TiO2
) with an index varying from 2.6 to 2.9.
A ray diagram doesn't explain the 'Why' of index of refraction, it explains the 'How it affects light' aspect of the phenomenon. The real explanation involves the atomic structure of the substance and its electronic properties. I recommend you look at the wikipedia article for further detailed information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refractive_index
(published on 08/26/07)
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