Refraction of waves

Waves transmitted at the interface (boundary) between two materials may change direction. Refraction is the change in direction of a wave at such a boundary. All wave types can be refracted.

It is important to be able to draw ray diagrams to show the refraction of a wave at a boundary.

A diagram shows the refraction of a ray after it travels through glass. It begins at a 55 degree angle and refracts at a 33 degree angle.A ray diagram showing light wave refraction at the boundary between air and glass

Explaining refraction - Higher

The density of a material is one of the factors that affects the speed that a wave will be transmitted through it.

A useful way of remembering the speed and direction changes of waves during refraction is 'FAST': Faster - Away / Slower - Towards