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Posted by on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:07pm.

A light ray of wavelength 610 nm is incident
at an angle θ on the top surface of a block of
polystyrene surrounded by water.
Find the maximum value of θ for which the
refracted ray will undergo total internal re-
flection at the left vertical face of the block.
(Assume the refractive index of water is 1.333,
and the refractive index of polystyrene is
1.487.)
Answer in units of



I looked for the critical angle and then, since its a right angle just get the angle measure that would equal the incident angle at the top

  • Physics - , Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:41pm

    See the 1st link below under Related Questions.

    A similar problem was answered.

  • Physics - , Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:43pm

    that link just tells you that question is missing, but it doesnt help answer it

  • Physics - , Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:53pm

    The first link below does have an answer.

    Whether it is a complete answer, I wouldn't know.

    You have to scroll down quite a bit for
    the answer. I am pasting that answer here.
    Maybe it will help you get started.

    Physics - drwls, Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 9:48pm

    First you have to look up the index of refraction for water, polystyrene and carbon disulfide. Apparently they have not provided you with those numbers.

    You can only get total internal reflection when a light ray tries to enter a medium with a lower index of refraction. That is not what happens in Part 1, so the answer to that one is B.

    For the others, get the refractive index, see if Total Internal Reflection is possible, and apply Snell's law if refraction is possible.

  • Physics - , Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 12:09am

    I don't really know what the refractive index is or the Total Internal Reflection, i jst know Snell's law

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