SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 300: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 300


Note: The figure is not drawn to scale.

The figure above shows a beam of light striking the surface of a piece of glass from the air.

If the reflected beam and refracted beam are perpendicular to each other, what is the index of refraction of the glass?

A. sin 55°
B. 1/sin 55°
C. 1/sin 35°
D. sin 55°/sin 35°
E. sin 35°/sin 55°

Correct Answer: D


The diagram below (which is drawn to scale) shows that the angle of incidence, θ1, is 55° and the angle of refraction, θ2, is 35°.

Now by using Snell’s law, we find that

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