Share this entry

Share this page

Snell's law

Syllabification: Snell's law
Pronunciation: /ˈsnelz ˌlô
 
/
Physics

Definition of Snell's law in English:

A law stating that the ratio of the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction of a wave are constant when it passes between two given media.
Example sentences
  • Fermat proposed that light follows the path which takes the shortest time, enabling Snell's law of refraction to be deduced mathematically.
  • In bi-directional transmission distribution functions it is also necessary to include refraction, which is described by Snell's law.
  • The largest angle allowed in the photoresist film is inversely related to its refractive index, as calculated using Snell's law and assuming a 90° half angle in air.

Origin

late 19th century: named after Willebrord Van Roijen Snell (1591–1626), Dutch mathematician.

Definition of Snell's law in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing