# A ray of light goes from water into air. Will it bend towards the normal or away from the normal?

When a ray of light goes from water (denser medium) to air (rarer medium), it bends away from the normal.

Explanation

The angle of refraction or the amount of bending of light depends on the refractive index (μ) of the two media.

1. When light passes through a low refractive index, like air (faster medium or optically rarer medium) to a high refractive index, like water (slower medium or optically denser medium), its speed decreases and bends towards the normal, making the angle of refraction smaller than the angle of incidence.

2. When light passes through a high refractive index, like water (slower medium or optically denser medium) to a low refractive index, like air (faster medium or optically rarer medium) its speed increases and bends away from the normal, making the angle of refraction larger than the angle of incidence.

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Updated on: 10-Oct-2022

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