Refractive index and figure of merit

Discussion in 'Physics' started by logearav, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. logearav

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Revered Members,
    I know the definition of refractive index is ratio of velocity of light in vacuum to the velocity of light in medium.
    Also, the definition for figure of merit is deflection produced per unit current.
    Is there any relation between figure of merit and refractive index?
    My teacher told that refractive index is nothing but figure of merit of light. I can't understand his statement. I need some inputs from the learned members of this forum in this regard. Thanks in advance
  2. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    I've never heard this before. Figure of merit is a general term for any quantity that indicates how good or bad something is. Usually, the figure of merit needs to be clearly defined and explained.

    I'm willing to bet that your teacher has a good explanation, if you ask him/her.

    The best guess I can make is that you are talking about a figure of merit for deflection, so higher refractive index materials can deflect a light beam a greater amount.