Why does light slow down when it hits diamond?

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Offline Samvolta

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Why does light slow down when it hits diamond?
« on: 24/03/2010 15:43:58 »
I had read in an article a few weeks back about the speed of light. Scientists had measured light speed when the light bounced off of certain objects/compounds and it remained relatively constant and similar. However, when light hit a diamond, its speed slowed down significantly. Any clarifications as to why?

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« Last Edit: 24/03/2010 18:48:52 by Samvolta »

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Offline imatfaal

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Why does light slow down when it hits diamond?
« Reply #1 on: 29/04/2010 13:13:31 »
Any links or more details on the article?  The speed of light certainly varies whilst it is passing through a different medium - this is quantified in the refractive index.  The speed of light in a vacuum is constant but as it enters media of higher density the speed decreases - by about 1.5 times less in glass and 2.5 times less in diamond.  the use of exotic materials can even 'stop' beams of light!  But I would love to read anything that claims that light can have two different speeds within the same medium (after a reflection or refraction)
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