Speed of Light

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Nikita Patra 3J
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:16 am

Speed of Light

Postby Nikita Patra 3J » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:58 pm

If light has different speeds depending on the medium it is in, does it change wavelength, frequency, or both?

Michelle Shin 4B
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Speed of Light

Postby Michelle Shin 4B » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:02 pm

The wavelength changes, but the frequency remains constant in order to conserve energy.

Frederick Keith_4C
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Speed of Light

Postby Frederick Keith_4C » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:13 pm

The speed of light can misleading because the value we use is light as observed in a vacuum (3.00 x 10^8 m/s), but the speed of light is not the same as it passes from medium to medium. When it enters a denser medium (from air to glass for example), the speed and wavelength of light decrease while frequency stays the same. All of this depends on the index of refraction, n, however.
Equation: n=c/v
Light slows down here because it runs into more particles and gets absorbed and then re-emitted within the denser medium.

Cooper Baddley 1F
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:19 am

Re: Speed of Light

Postby Cooper Baddley 1F » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:38 pm

The constant for speed of light as (3.00 x 10^8 m/s) refers to the fastest light can travel as it is measured in a vacuum but as stated before it can slow down when it goes through different thicker mediums.

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