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if a light ray falls on the vertex corner of a prism what will happen, since there is possibility of formation of two normals?

if a light ray falls on the vertex corner of a prism what will happen, since there is possibility of formation of two normals?

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1 Answers

Biswajit Das
askIITians Faculty 55 Points
6 years ago
A prism has three mutually perpendicular reflecting surfaces and a base surface through which the light beam enters the prism and can be made by cutting a corner from a solid glass cube. It has the property of reflecting the light beam parallel to the direction of incidence so that the incident and emerging beams are parallel.

If a light rays falls on the vortex corner of a prism, that is if the incident light beam is not normal to the base surface, the optical length (the geometrical distance multiplied by the refractive index) traversed by the light will differ slightly from the optical length traversed by the light when the prism is accurately aligned. Hence, the time required for the light to travel from a distance meter to the reflector and back to the distance meter is dependent on the adjustment of the prism to some extent.Normally the difference is very small and of no practical importance, and besides it has hitherto been practically impossible to measure distances electrooptically with such a high accuracy that the difl'erence affects the measuring result.

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