Examples for


Refraction is the change in direction of light rays due to a change in the medium they pass through. Wolfram|Alpha provides a wide range of formulas for refraction, including Snell's law, and can be used to compute refractive indices or the position of rainbows. Do computations using the thin lens equation or Fresnel's equation.


Compute the effects of refraction on light in lenses, prisms and raindrops.

Compute refractions using Snell's law:

Do a Fresnel's law computation:

Compute the refraction of light in a prism:

Do computations using the thin lens equation:

Calculate the height of a rainbow:

Compute the focal length of a lens:

Refractive Indices

Compute the refractive index for a wide variety of substances.

Calculate the refractive index of humid air:

Determine the refractive index of water:

Look up the refractive index of a material:

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