Hartl Optical Disks

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The Hartl optical disk is useful for illustrating the laws of reflection and refraction in the laboratory. This Demonstration treats two cases:

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(a) a ray of light coming from a medium with refractive index equal to 1 (air) incident on a semicircular-shaped medium with refractive index greater than 1 (glass, quartz, polymethyl methacrylate (acrylic), etc.);

(b) a ray of light coming from a semicircular-shaped medium with refractive index greater than 1 into a medium with refractive index equal to 1 (the opposite of case a).

Apart from refraction, total internal reflection can also occur. The position of the incoming light beam is essential for correctly centering the beam on the semicircular disk.

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Contributed by: Lorenzo Roi (January 2019)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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