Dictionary.com

index of refraction

Save This Word!

noun Optics.

a number indicating the speed of light in a given medium as either the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to that in the given medium (absolute index of refraction ) or the ratio of the speed of light in a specified medium to that in the given medium (relative index of refraction ).Symbol: n

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "EVOKE" VS. "INVOKE"!

Call upon your favorite grammar inspirations to tackle this quiz on the differences and uses of "evoke" and "invoke."
Question 1 of 7
“Evoke” and “invoke” both derive from the same Latin root “vocāre.”

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Also called index, refractive index .

Origin of index of refraction

First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use index of refraction in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for index of refraction

index of refraction

noun

another name for refractive index
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for index of refraction

index of refraction

A measure of the extent to which a substance slows down light waves passing through it. The index of refraction of a substance is equal to the ratio of the velocity of light in a vacuum to its speed in that substance. Its value determines the extent to which light is refracted when entering or leaving the substance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK