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Refraction of Light Lab Report

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Introduction

David Urlanda

Physics Lab Report

Refraction of Light – Air into Glass

Purpose:

        When light travels through different mediums, it is being refracted. The purpose of this lab is to test Snell’s law of refraction.

Hypothesis:

        The angles of refraction that I predicted from the angle of incidences by using Snell’s Law are below on the predicted angle Column. To obtain these values I used the index of refraction of crown glass because it is more likely close to the glass (plexiglass) that we are using.

Angle of Incidence

10°

20°

30°

40°

50°

60°

Predicted angle of refraction

0

6.56°

13.0°

19.2°

25.02°

30.27°

34.74°

Variables and Controls:

        Independent Variable: The angle of the light coming from the ray box or the angle of incidence

        Dependent Variable: The angle of refraction on the plexiglass.

        Controls: The mediums where light travels (air and plexiglass).

Materials:

  • ray box
  • plexiglass
  • white paper, protractor and pencil

Procedure:

  1. I folded the blank paper into four equal parts.
...read more.

Middle

I placed the paper and the flexi glass on the center of lab bench so that the ray box or the glass would not fall during the entire investigation.I moved and held the ray box cautiously.

Observations:

        Qualitative Observations:

  • The light coming from the ray bow was bent toward the normal.
  •  The light from the ray box were not that thin as the lines I drawn.

Quantitative Observations:

Angle of Incidence (°) (θi)

Predicted angle of refraction (°) (θr)

Measured angle of refraction (°) (θr)

Difference

Sinθi/ sinθr

0

0

0

0

0

10

6.56

8

1.44

1.25

20

13.0

14

1

1.41

30

19.2

20

0.8

1.46

40

25.02

26

0.98

1.47

50

30.27

32

1.73

1.45

60

37.74

35

0.26

1.51

...read more.

Conclusion

Another source of error that probably occurred is the incorrect measure of the angle the light from the ray box or the angle of incidence, if the angle of incidence is not accurate it will not corresponds on the expected angle of refraction.

Conclusion:

        Snell’s law states that the sine angle of incidence is directly proportional to the sine angle of refraction. We can see in my data that this law is true. As the angle of incidence increase the angle of refraction also increases. There might be a little bit difference with my predicted and measured angle of refraction, probably it’s because I used the index of refraction of crown glass, where crown glass is more optically denser than plexiglass. As I researched the index of refraction, according to wikipedia the index is 1.4893-1.4899. If I use this value I would actually get a closer value.

...read more.

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