Fr.: dispesrion anormale
The phenomenon whereby the → refractive index of light in a medium changes rapidly with wavelength in the vicinity of an → absorption band. Hence the → dispersion curve of the substance shows marked deviations from → Cauchy's equation, in contrast with the behavior of → normal dispersion. On the shorter λ side of the absorption band the refractive index falls off more rapidly than required by Cauchy's equation representing values of n for visible light. On the long λ side of the absorption band the index is very high, decreasing at first rapidly and then more slowly as one goes beyond the absorption band.