KS5 Optics

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Wave Properties & Optics - Objectives


• Refraction of light

• Total internal reflection

• Interference

• Diffraction

• Two-source interference

Learning Outcomes

Students should know about:

  • Refractive index of a substance s , ns = c/cs; Candidates are not expected to recall methods for determining refractive indices
  • The refractive index of air being approximately 1
  • Snell's Law of refraction for a boundary between two different substances of refractive indices n1 and n2 in the form:
    n1sin θ1 = n2sin θ2
  • Total internal reflection including calculations of the critical angle θc at a boundary between a substance of refractive index n1 and a substance of lesser refractive index n2 or air:
    sin θc = n2/ n1
  • Simple treatment of fibre optics including function of the cladding with lower refractive index around central core limited to step index only; application to communications.
  • Material and modal dispersion
  • the principles and consequences of pulse broadening and absorption

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