Index of Refraction (IOR)
Many 3d applications these days allow you to input actual IOR values in order to achieve a more accurate representation of surfaces during rendering of your 3d models. It obviously helps if you know what the correct IOR value is for the type of surface you are trying to re-create. You should be able to use these values in many different 3d applications - such as NewTek Lightwave 3d, Blender 3d, Autodesk 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Softimage, Maxon Cinema 4D, Next Limit Maxwell, The Foundry Modo and Strata 3d. Please do not take this list to be a scientifically accurate list. It is for general usage in 3d applications only -and not for scientific use.
What is "IOR"?
When light passes through a transparent surface, the light is typically bent or distorted. This distortion is known as refraction, and the amount of refraction is known as the index of refraction (IOR). The IOR results from the relative speed of light, as it passes through a transparent medium relative to the medium that the viewer is in. Often, the denser the object, the higher the IOR value will be.