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Why does light bend going through glass

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#1 teashea

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 10:04 AM

This is an excellent explanation by Don Lincoln of Fermilab.

 

https://www.youtube....pNM0sgYk&t=675s


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#2 pretyro

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 11:54 AM

This is an excellent explanation by Don Lincoln of Fermilab.

 

https://www.youtube....pNM0sgYk&t=675s

    Thanks for the link.  I like it.  So, if you were to cool the glass sufficiently (close to 0 K) to where the electrons diffuse slowly and provide very short pulses of light; the first pulse of light would pass through the glass “unbent” because the counter balancing electric field (cf the video at time 11:50) has not yet been established? 
     The cold glass would be like a memory chip then.  A pulse of light is “bent” only if there were sufficient early pulses of light that set up the counter balancing electric field.  And, like RAM, refresh cycles are needed; in this case, to refresh the counter balancing electric field.  If a pulse gets bent, it is a zero.  If it does get bent, is a one.  Actually, as the counter balancing electric field sets up with each short pulse (each pulse arriving before the counter balancing electric field begins to relax), there will be a range of refraction angles.
     The cold glass would also function as a transistor too.  That is, the light gets sufficiently “bent” only if there are previous pulse(s) of light, of sufficient duration and rapidity (if you wait too long, the electrons will re-randomize), to set up the counter balancing electric field.

 

     Or, I am completely wrong:)

 

Edit:

   Well, apparently a single photon can be diffracted by a prism -- so all this goes out the window.  It would take energy and time to arrange the electrons in the glass as described in the youtube video to form the counter balancing electric field.  I wonder where the energy would come from.


Edited by pretyro, 16 September 2021 - 06:40 PM.


#3 desertlens

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for the link. My knowledge extended only as far as the Huygens equation. The Maxwell solution is news to me.


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