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RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL KIGHTLEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Changing refractive index. Animation of the appearance of a rod in water changing as the refractive index varies over time. The refractive index, a measure of how much light is bent when passing from one medium to another, is calculated as the speed of light in a vacuum divided by the speed of light in the material. This animation shows the change as the refractive index varies from over 2.4 (diamond) to 1 (vacuum or approximately air) and back again.
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