Animation: Snellius Law of Refraction

The interactive animation represents the geometric relationships that exist for a refracted beam of light (Snellius’ law of refraction).

To change the angle of incidence of the light beam, click on the top of the beam and move the mouse to the left or right.

Alternatively, you can change the target area of the light beam. To accomplish this, move the marker at the bottom of the animation.

In addition to straight surfaces, curved and wavy surfaces can also be represented. Using the markers on the left and right side, the shape of the surface can be altered.

The materials refractive index can be set between 1 and 10. The high values >3 occur in reality only with very few materials.

If you click in the large rectangle of the animation, formulas are displayed.

Overview and Download

TitleSnellius Law of Refraction
Target audienceTeachers and lecturers
PlatformsMicrosoft® Windows®
Apple® Macintosh®
Lossless magnification
Large screens and screens supported
LicenseFreeware (for non-commercial use)
DownloadMicrosoft® Windows®
Apple® Macintosh®

Instructional idea

The scene shown can be partially recreated with an experimental setup. The animation can be used, among other things, when this possibility does not exist. Furthermore, the animation can be used to make the mathematical connection more impressive, because here the refractive index and the shape of the medium can be changed.


Authoring tool: Adobe Animate

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