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Calculate the index of refraction for a medium in which the speed of light is $2.012 \times 10^8 \textrm{ m/s}$, and identify the most likely substance based on Table 25.1.
Question by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Final Answer
$n = 1.490$
This is polystyrene.
Solution Video

OpenStax College Physics Solution, Chapter 25, Problem 7 (Problems & Exercises) (0:28)

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Video Transcript

This is College Physics Answers with Shaun Dychko. The index of refraction equals the speed of light in a vacuum divided by the speed of light in the material. So, that's 2.997 times ten to the eight meters per second divided by 2.012 times ten to the eight meters per second, giving an index of refraction of 1.490. I'm looking at the table 12.1 giving us index refractions of different materials. This is polystyrene.