Refractive index

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The ability of a material to deflect light. The refractive index is a ratio obtained by dividing the speed of light in a vacuum by the speed of light as it passes through through the material. The refractive index of a material, such as a pigment, gives an indication of its color value and hiding power.

Synonyms and Related Terms

"refr index; ref. index; RI; Brechungsindex (Deut.); indice de réfraction (Fr.);

Other Properties

examples: RI for



linseed oil=1.57

zinc oxide=2.00

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • R. Mayer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques, Viking Press, New York, 1981
  • Walter C. McCrone, John Gustave Delly, The Particle Atlas, W. McCrone Associates, Chicago, IV, 1972
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982

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