What Is Lateral Displacement?

When the perpendicular distance between the original path traced by an incident ray and the path traced by the emergent ray coming out from the glass slab is known as lateral displacement.

Following are the factors on which lateral displacement depends:

  • The thickness of the glass slab
  • Refractive index of the glass slab
  • The angle at which incident ray enters the glass slab

Following is the formula of lateral displacement:

\(\begin{array}{l}x = \frac{tsin(i-r)}{cosr}\end{array} \)


  • x is the lateral displacement
  • t is the thickness of the glass slab
  • i is the angle of an incident ray
  • r is the angle of refraction

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