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March 30, 2015

Homework Help: Organic Chemistry - Refractive Index

Posted by Tara on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 6:41pm.

Hi,

I have a question that I don't know if I am on the right track to answering.

If two samples of organic liquids give the same refractive index reading, are the two liquids the same?

I know the refractometer is a very precise instrument - up to 8 decimal places. It measures the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum over the speed of light in a medium. Therefore, the refractive index based on the density of the medium (the liquid sample itself) that the light is moving though. If the two liquids had the same density, then they could have the refractive index.

Am I going in the right direction? Is this right?

Thanks in advance for the help!
Tara

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