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Posted by on Monday, November 24, 2008 at 7:41pm.

One application of the index of refraction is analysis of crime scenes. Using the index of refraction, forensic scientists can determine what type of glass has been left at a scene.
Read the following and answer the questions below.
Different types of glass (bottle, window, car headlight) may appear the same but have slightly different indexes of refraction. Even different 'batches'of the same type of glass can be slightly different.
So, if you can determine the index of refraction of the glass, you can match it to other glass taken from a suspect's clothing, for example.
But how to find the index? Certain clear liquids can change their index of refraction when pressure is added to the, or their temperature is changed. This is the key to finding the index of refraction for the glass. Consider this:
A)what happens to light rays when they pass from one identical substance into another?
B) what would happen if light rays passed from one object into another object with the same index of refraction?
Consider your answer to A) and B), and th statements above, and answer this:
C)what is a method that could be used to find the index of refraction of the glass.


Okay, so I think that the answer for A) is that there's no refraction and same for B). But, I do't understand how this could relate to C). Can someone please help me understand?

  • Physics - , Monday, November 24, 2008 at 7:58pm

    When clear glass is immeresed in a liquid of the same index, it disappears. There is then no light scattering at interfaces between the liquid and the solid.

    Liquids of variable index can be provided by dissolving variable ammounts of sugar in water. There are tables of the refractive index vs. sugar content in chemisty and physics handbooks.

  • Physics - , Monday, November 24, 2008 at 8:04pm

    thank you. :)

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