SAT II Physics : Optics

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II Physics

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Optics

Q9

Light passes from a medium with some index of refraction  at 25 degrees from perpendicular and exits into another medium with an index of refraction of 1.5 at an angle of 35 degrees. What is the value of ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Snell's law states:

If we substitute the values from the question we get:

Next rearrange to isolate 

 

Example Question #1 : Optics, Waves, And Quantum

Which of the following scenarios would result in the polarization of light?

Possible Answers:

Light is reflected off of a glass window

Light passes through a vacuum

Light pass between two mediums with the same index of refraction

A light source travels at a high velocity

Light is absorbed by a black body

Correct answer:

Light is reflected off of a glass window

Explanation:

Light is polarized when it is all oscillating in the same direction. This effect occurs when light is reflected. Polarization can occur through refraction, however if light is passing between mediums with the same index of refraction, the light will not refract.

Example Question #1 : Optics

Of the following, which type of waves has the longest wavelength?

Possible Answers:

Microwaves

Gamma rays

Orange light

Green light

X-rays

Correct answer:

Microwaves

Explanation:

Wavelength and frequency have an inverse relationship; as one value increases, the other value decreases. In contrast, frequency and wave energy have a direct relationship; as one term increases, the other increases as well.

In the electromagnetic spectrum all wave types have the same velocity, but some have greater energy (and frequency) than others. Gamma rays have the highest energy, while radio waves have the lowest. In order from lowest energy to highest, the types of electromagnetic waves are radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays.

Of the given answer options, microwaves have the lowest energy. This means they will also have the lowest frequency, and largest wavelength.

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