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AP Physics 2 Question Review 1 - Refraction

With the launch of our new subject, AP Physics 2, it only makes sense that we make our first question review of it. Reviews for AP Physics 1 has already been done, so the jump to AP Physics 2 finds us talking about concepts related to electricity, magnetism, fluids and light! Similar to our AP Physics 1 post, it was in your best interest to see what a two answer question looked like, so we went ahead and grabbed a typical question type you'll see on the exam as shown below:

When light passes from air into glass, the frequency remains the same. What happens to the speed and wavelength of light as it passes from air into glass?

  • Wavelength increases
  • Wavelength decreases
  • Speed increases
  • Speed decreases

As mentioned earlier, there are two answers to this question, so careful consideration needs to be made. First off, you'll need to use the speed of light equation through different mediums v=c/n. If you increase the refractive index then velocity decreases, which in this case glass has a higher refractive index than air. If the velocity decreases but the frequency remains the same, then the wavelength must decreases to satisfy the equation v=fλ.

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