Refraction through a Prism – Class 12 | Chapter – 9 | Physics Short Notes Series PDF for NEET & JEE

Refraction through a Prism: A prism is a transparent object that refracts light. It has two parallel and flat surfaces called the bases, and a third surface called the prism face, which is inclined to the bases. When a ray of light passes through a prism, it is refracted twice, once as it enters the prism and again as it exits.

Refraction through a Prism

The amount of bending that occurs as light passes through a prism depends on the angle of incidence and the refractive index of the prism. When light passes through a prism, it is separated into its component colors, because different wavelengths of light are refracted by different amounts. This is the basis of a prism’s ability to act as a dispersive element in optical systems, such as in spectroscopy.

The angle of deviation of a ray of light passing through a prism can be calculated using the formula:

δ = (μ – 1)A

where δ is the angle of deviation, A is the angle of the prism, and μ is the refractive index of the prism.

Applications of Prism

Prisms have a wide range of applications in different fields, including optics, physics, chemistry, and even art. Some common applications of prisms are:

  • Optical instruments: Prisms are used in various optical instruments such as binoculars, cameras, and telescopes. They help to redirect the light and provide a clear and undistorted image of the object being viewed.
  • Spectroscopy: Prisms are used in spectroscopy to separate the different wavelengths of light emitted by a source, allowing scientists to analyze the light and determine the composition of the source. This technique is used in various fields such as astronomy, chemistry, and biology.
  • Surveying: Prisms are used in surveying to measure angles and distances. They are used in devices such as theodolites and total stations.
  • Decorative and artistic applications: Prisms are used in chandeliers, sculptures, and other art installations to create reflections and color effects.
  • Laser technology: Prisms are used in laser technology to steer and shape laser beams, for example, in laser rangefinders and laser printers.
  • Fiber optics: Prisms are used in fiber optic technology to redirect the light signals, helping to transmit the information over long distances with minimal loss of signal quality.
  • Refractometry: Prisms are used in refractometers, which are instruments used to measure the refractive index of liquids and solids.

Biology Quiz & Notes Physics Quiz & Notes Chemistry Quiz & Notes

Follow on Facebook

By Team Learning Mantras