Credit:Indi SamarajivaCC-BY-2.0
Q:

# What are the practical applications of refraction?

A:

Refraction is the differential bending of light as it passes through a medium, and it is used in a wide variety of applications throughout industry and the sciences as well as in living bodies. Light refracted through an optical prism spreads out into a spectrum of its constituent colors and allows individual wavelengths to be examined on their own.

Know More

## Keep Learning

Refraction provides scientists with data about the composition and structure of bodies in space. Outside of the laboratory, refracted light is central to the operation of fiber optic cables. By constructing a cable made from differentiated layers of glass, each with its own refractive index, it is possible to send a pulse of light down a cable for a considerable distance. The refractive gradient between layers of glass inside the cable keeps light of the desired wavelength traveling forward along the cable rather than being absorbed or redirected in a way that interrupts the signal.

Optical glass has a refractive index that is used to bend incoming light to form a coherent picture for people with poor eyesight. When the natural lens of the eye, which also refracts light, becomes stiff or develops a shape that interferes with images, a pair of corrective glasses with the right refractive index usually restores normal vision.

## Related Questions

• A:

The formation of a rainbow and the splitting of light when it passes through a prism are examples of refraction. A pencil placed in a beaker of water looks bent due to refraction of light.

Filed Under:
• A:

Refraction is caused by light passing from one medium to another (from air to water, for example) and experiencing a change in speed. A fisherman looking into water to spear a fish will have to remember that refraction will distort the image he sees under the water's surface.

Filed Under:
• A:

Snell's law of refraction is the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction with respect to the refraction indices of two different media. Snell's law of refraction can be applied to the refraction light for any two media. Snell's law predicts the angle of refraction that light follows when passing from one medium and into the next medium.