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Light Reflection and Refraction Calculator

This calculator calculates: sine of the angle of incidence, sine of the angle of refraction, angle of incidence, angle of refraction, refractive index of the material, the limiting angle at which total reflection occurs. The calculator visually displays the angles of incidence and refraction of light, calculates the result and shows a step-by-step solution.

Reflection and refraction of lightRefraction of light is a change in the direction of propagation of a light wave when passing from one medium to another.

The ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction is a constant value for two media, which is equal to the ratio of the speeds of light in these two media sin(α) / sin(β) = v1 / v2.

The refractive index of a medium is a physical quantity that is different in the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a given medium n = c / v.

The speed of propagation of light in a medium depends on the refractive index in the medium, therefore, the higher the refractive index of the medium, the lower the speed of propagation of light in it.

An optically denser medium is one with a higher refractive index.

The phenomenon of total reflection occurs when light passes from an optically denser medium to an optically less dense medium, that is, when n1 ⩾ n2. If light passes from an optically less dense medium to an optically more dense one, in the case of n1 < n2, then at any angle of incidence, both reflection and refraction will occur. Thus, for n1 < n2, the phenomenon of total reflection cannot occur.

Select the value you want to calculate and fill in the required fields, based on the formula above.

Sine α of incidence (from -1 to 1)
Sine β of refraction (from -1 to 1)
Angle α of incidence
Angle β of refraction
Refractive index in the first medium n1
Refractive index in the second medium n2
Critical angle (Total internal reflection)

See also