Anomalous Dispersion in Predictive Rendering


In coloured media, the index of refraction does not decrease monotonically with increasing wavelength, but behaves in a quite non-monotonical way. This behaviour is called anomalous dispersion and results from the fact that the absorption of a material influences its index of refraction. So far, this interesting fact has not been widely acknowledged by the graphics community. In this paper, we demonstrate how to calculate the correct refractive index for a material based on its absorption spectrum with the Kramers-Kronig relation, and we discuss for which types of objects this effect is relevant in practice.

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