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relative index of refraction

noun, Optics.
1.
See under index of refraction.

index of refraction

noun, Optics.
1.
a number indicating the speed of light in a given medium as either the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to that in the given medium (absolute index of refraction) or the ratio of the speed of light in a specified medium to that in the given medium (relative index of refraction) Symbol: n.
Also called index, refractive index.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for relative index of re-fraction

index of refraction

noun
1.
another name for refractive index
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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relative index of re-fraction in Science
index of refraction  
A measure of the extent to which a substance slows down light waves passing through it. The index of refraction of a substance is equal to the ratio of the velocity of light in a vacuum to its speed in that substance. Its value determines the extent to which light is refracted when entering or leaving the substance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for relative index of re-fraction

index of refraction

measure of the bending of a ray of light when passing from one medium into another. If i is the angle of incidence of a ray in vacuum (angle between the incoming ray and the perpendicular to the surface of a medium, called the normal; see figure), and r is the angle of refraction (angle between the ray in the medium and the normal), the refractive index n is defined as the ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction; i.e., n = sin i / sin r. Refractive index is also equal to the velocity c of light of a given wavelength in empty space divided by its velocity v in a substance, or n = c/v.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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