Index of refraction

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The index of refraction is a quantity that expresses the degree to which a medium refracts light. The index is given by n = c / vphase, where c is the speed of light in a vacuum and vphase is the phase velocity of light in the medium. For media that absorb as well as refract light, the index of refraction is expressed as a complex number whose imaginary component expresses the absorption.

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