17-1074

refractive index (of a medium, for a monochromatic radiation of wavelength, λ, in vacuum) [n(λ)]

ratio of the velocity of the electromagnetic waves in vacuum to the phase velocity of the waves of the monochromatic radiation in the medium

Unit: 1

NOTE For isotropic media, this index is equal to the ratio of the sines of the angles of incidence, Θ1, and refraction, Θ2, of a ray passing through the surface separating vacuum and medium: n(λ)=sin Θ1/sin Θ2.

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