What is the Speed of Light in Air?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Speed of light in air is 2.9 × 108 m/s. If we consider the refractive index of air to be 1. But the refractive index of air is approximately 1.0003, and the refractive index formula will be used to calculate light. The speed of visible light in the air is about 90 km/s slower than c. The speed of light in a vacuum is c (3 × 108 m/s).

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Speed of Light in Air

Light is an electromagnetic wave that can cause a sensation of sight in humans. Light has its own speed of traveling and can travel at a definite speed in a vacuum. The speed of light is slightly slower in the air than in a vacuum. It has different speeds in different material media. The speed of light and its properties is studied using the laws of physics.

To be precise, the speed of light in Air is 299702547.236 m/s. The refractive index of air is more than that of vacuum by 0.0003, which is why the speed of light is slower in the air by 90km/s in the air than in the vacuum. The formula used to calculate the speed of light is,

v = c/n

Where

• c= 3 × 108 m/s
• n = 1.0003 for air

Summary:

What is the Speed of Light in Air?

In the air, the speed of light is 2.9 × 108 m/s. The refractive index of air is approximately 1.0003, and the refractive index will affect the speed of light and will come less than that of the speed of light in a vacuum. The speed of visible light in the air is about 90 km/s slower than c.

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