What Is Refracted Ray?

Are you curious to know what is refracted ray? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about refracted ray in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is refracted ray?

The behavior of light as it interacts with different mediums has been a subject of fascination for scientists and researchers for centuries. One of the fundamental phenomena that light exhibits is refraction, which gives rise to refracted rays. In this blog post, we will explore what a refracted ray is, how refraction works, and its practical applications in the field of optics.

What Is Refracted Ray?

Refraction is the bending of light as it passes from one transparent medium into another, typically due to a change in the medium’s optical density. This change in direction occurs because light travels at different speeds in different mediums. When light passes from a less dense medium (e.g., air) into a denser medium (e.g., glass or water), it slows down and bends toward the normal line—an imaginary line perpendicular to the surface separating the two mediums. Conversely, when light travels from a denser medium to a less dense one, it speeds up and bends away from the normal line.

Key Concepts Of Refraction:

  1. Angle of Incidence (i): This is the angle formed between the incident ray (the incoming ray of light) and the normal line at the point of incidence, where the ray enters the new medium.
  2. Angle of Refraction (r): This is the angle formed between the refracted ray (the ray of light inside the new medium) and the same normal line.
  3. Snell’s Law: Snell’s Law describes the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction and the refractive indices of the two mediums involved. It is expressed as n₁sin(i) = n₂sin(r), where n₁ and n₂ are the refractive indices of the first and second mediums, respectively.

The Refracted Ray

A refracted ray is the path taken by light inside a new medium after undergoing refraction at the boundary between two mediums. It is characterized by the following:

  1. Change in Direction: The refracted ray changes direction as it enters the new medium, relative to the incident ray.
  2. Bending Towards or Away from Normal: Whether the refracted ray bends toward or away from the normal line depends on the refractive indices of the two mediums involved.
  3. Speed Change: The refracted ray travels at a different speed than the incident ray due to the change in the medium’s optical density.

Practical Applications Of Refraction

Refraction has several practical applications in the field of optics and everyday life:

  1. Lenses: Eyeglasses, camera lenses, and microscope lenses use the principles of refraction to bend and focus light, helping people see clearly and capture images.
  2. Prisms: Prisms are optical devices that utilize refraction to disperse and separate light into its constituent colors, creating a spectrum.
  3. Mirages: Mirages, often seen on hot roads, are optical illusions caused by the bending of light due to temperature gradients in the air.
  4. Camera Lenses: Cameras utilize refraction to focus and capture images, adjusting for different lighting conditions.
  5. Aquariums: The curved glass surfaces of aquariums use refraction to make objects underwater appear closer to the surface than they actually are.


Refraction is a fascinating phenomenon in the world of optics, where light takes on new paths and behaviors when it interacts with different mediums. The bending of light, resulting in refracted rays, has far-reaching applications, from helping us see clearly through corrective lenses to creating stunning optical effects like rainbows and mirages. Understanding refraction not only enriches our knowledge of the physical world but also underpins essential technologies and optical devices that enhance our lives.


What Is Incident Ray And Refracted Ray Class 10?

Incident ray: The ray which falls on the surface of separation(or interface) to enter into the new medium. Refracted ray: The ray in the second medium, obtained after refraction. Normal: Imaginary straight line perpendicular to the refracting surface at the point of refraction.

Why Is The Refracted Ray?

20.2 Refraction of Light: The Law of Refraction

When light rays are incident on an interface between media having different indices of refraction, the rays will, in general, undergo a change in direction. The rays are bent, or refracted, at the interface.

What Is Emergent Ray Class 10?

Definition: An emergent ray seems to be a refracted beam that originates from a medium or channel after refraction. Whenever a reflected ray exits glassy slabs, it will become an emergent ray, moving further away from normal as well as parallel just to the incident light.

What Is Refraction Class 11?

Refraction is the phenomenon of bending of light as it goes obliquely from one medium to another. It is caused by the change in speed of light as it goes from one medium to another.

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