Archive for the ‘Refractometer’ category


June 25th, 2014

refractometer measures the extent to which light is bent (i.e. refracted) when it moves from air into a sample and is typically used to determine the index of refraction (aka refractive index or n) of a liquid sample.

The refractive index is commonly determined as part of the characterization of liquid samples, in much the same way that melting points are routinely obtained to characterize solid compounds. It is also commonly used to:

  • Help identify or confirm the identity of a sample by comparing its refractive index to known values.
  • Assess the purity of a sample by comparing its refractive index to the value for the pure substance.
  • Determine the concentration of a solute in a solution by comparing the solution’s refractive index to a standard curve.
  • he speed of light in a vacuum is always the same, but when light moves through any other medium it travels more slowly since it is constantly being absorbed and reemitted by the atoms in the material. The ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in another substance is defined as the index of refraction (aka refractive index or n) for the substance.