Snells Law

Named after Willebrord Snell (1591 - 1626).

Snells law defines the angle of refraction of a light beam when it passes from one medium to another. If the second refractive index (nb) is higher than the first (na) then the beam bends towards the normal, otherwise it bends away from it.


In the curved atmosphere, Snell's law becomes
where
R = distance from the local centre of curvature

See also: Angle of Reflection.

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Subjects: Optics Physics