### Video Transcript

Which of the following formulas
describes the relation between the wavelength of incident light and the refractive
index of a prism for that specific wavelength? (A) π is proportional to π. (B) π is proportional to one over
π. (C) π is proportional to one over
the square root of π. Or (D) π is proportional to one
over π squared.

To think about this, letβs first
remember that any material that affects different wavelengths of light differently
is called dispersive. So, because a prism refracts
different wavelengths of light by different amounts, we know itβs a dispersive
material.

To understand this better, letβs
look at an example diagram showing how a prism affects different wavelengths of
light. Here, we can see two rays of light,
one red and one blue, incident on the prism at the same point and at the same
angle. We know that the wavelength of red
light is greater than that of blue light. We can also see that the red ray is
refracted less than the blue ray is. This happens because the prism has
a different index of refraction for different wavelengths of light. And this question is asking us to
identify how we can represent this relationship mathematically.

To do this, letβs remember that the
refractive index, π, is given by π, the speed of light in a vacuum, divided by π£,
the speed of light in a certain material. We should also remember the wave
speed equation, which says that the speed of a wave, such as light, π£, equals π,
the waveβs frequency, times π, its wavelength. So, substituting this expression
for π£ into the formula for the index of refraction, we get that π equals π over
π times π. And since here weβre only concerned
with the relationship between π and π, letβs ignore the other two terms, π and
π, by setting them equal to one just to hold their place in the equation. Notice that we should also replace
the equals sign with this symbol to indicate that weβre no longer strictly equating
the right- and left-hand sides of this expression.

Thus, weβve devised a statement of
proportionality between π and π. We say that π is proportional to
one over π or that π is inversely proportional to π, meaning that as one quantity
increases, the other must decrease. This makes sense because, as weβve
seen in this example diagram, light with a greater wavelength is refracted less by a
prism or that light with a smaller wavelength is refracted more. Thus, we should eliminate answer
option (A), because we know that π and π are not directly proportional. Theyβre inversely proportional. And because this π term in the
denominator isnβt raised to the power of two or one-half, we know that π is not
inversely proportional to either π squared or the square root of π. So we should eliminate answer
options (C) and (D) as well.

Therefore, we know that answer
option (B) is correct. The relationship between the
wavelength of incident light and the refractive index of a prism for that specific
wavelength is given by the expression π is inversely proportional to π.