Q. 2

Can the dispersive power ω=μvr be negative? What is the sign of ω if a hollow prism μ-1 is immersed into water?

Answer :

No, dispersive power can never be negative because for a given medium, μ is a continuous function of wavelength.


In the equation,


ω=μvr


μ is always greater than μ for the transparent prism kept in a medium having a lesser refractive index than it. So μ-μ > 0. Also μ > 1, so μ-1 >0. Hence the dispersive power will be positive.


a. If a hollow prism is immersed in water the equation of the dispersive power will become


= ( - )/ -1


So both the numerator and the denominator will become negative and we will get positive.


So in normal situations will not be negative.


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