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Q & A: Index of refraction

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
We have learned through our study of physics that refraction occurs when light is bent when it enters an object with a different density than the air its travelling through.

It will slow down when it hits an object with greater density than air. But...

THE QUESTION: Will light speed up and refract if it hits something with lesser density than air? Fore example, helium? Thank you for your help.
- Matthew Helmick
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
A:
Yes, but not much since air already is not very dense.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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