# Angle of refraction

The angle of refraction indicates the extent to which light bends and changes direction as it passes from one transparent medium into another.

• The refractive index of a medium can significantly affect the degree to which light is refracted when entering that medium.
• For instance, light is refracted more when it enters a medium with a high refractive index, such as glass, than when it enters a medium with a low refractive index, like air.
• Total internal reflection is a phenomenon that takes place when light attempts to pass from a medium with a higher refractive index to one with a lower refractive index at an angle greater than the so-called “critical angle”. The outcome is that all of the light is reflected back into the first medium instead of being refracted.
###### About lines that are normal to one another
• If one line is normal to another, then it is at right angles.
• In geometry, a normal (or the normal) refers to a line drawn perpendicular to and intersecting another line, plane or surface.
• In the field of optics, the normal is a line drawn on a ray-tracing diagram perpendicular to (at 900 to), the boundary between two media.
• If the boundary between two media is curved then the normal is drawn at a tangent to the boundary.
###### References

The angle of refraction measures the angle to which light bends as it passes across the boundary between different media.

• The angle of refraction is measured between a ray of light and an imaginary line called the normal.
• In optics, the normal is a line drawn on a ray diagram perpendicular to, so at a right angle to (900), to the boundary between two media.
• If the boundary between the media is curved then the normal is drawn perpendicular to the boundary.
• Snell’s law is a formula used to describe the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction when referring to light passing across the boundary between two different transparent media, such as water, glass, or air.
• In optics, the law is used in ray diagrams to compute the angles of incidence or refraction, and in experimental optics to find the refractive index of a medium.