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Jello Extended Essay 2

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"What is the effect of the amount of water used to make the jell-o on the refractive properties of jell-o?" In this experiment, I changed the amount of water used to make the jell-o. I predict that the index of refraction of jell-o will increase for all the variables because adding the jell-o powder into the water, the density and concentration of the water would increase. The index of refraction for lower amounts of water would be higher than the index of refraction for higher amounts of water. The laser light will travel slower in the jell-o if the jell-o is more concentrated. I know that the larger the index of refraction, the slower the light will travel through the jell-o. When the density of a substance high, the light has to pass through more particles than when the density is low, and the light does not have to hit more particles. If the materials are concentrated enough, the light may not pass through at all. It may be absorbed by the jell-o. For my different levels of the independent variable, I used 25%, 50%, and 200% volume of water instructed on the box of the jell-o. The jell-o box instructed that I use one cup of boiling water and one cup of cold water. ...read more.


The data collected are recorded in a table along with its graph in the appendix. The following is one of the data collected for the lab and the graph it produced. Ai in the data represents the incidence angles; the angle that laser light entered the jell-o normal to the surface of the liquid. The angle that the laser light comes out of is the refractive angle. To calculate the index of refraction, I entered the data into the Logger Pro program and find the slope of the line. The equation states Ni*Sin (Ai) = Nr*Sin (Ar) I rearranged the equation to graph the data where the index of refraction is the slope. After rearranging, the equation becomes: Y=mx+b Sin (Ar) = Ni/Nr * Sin(Ai) "Y"= "m" * "x" The x axis becomes Sin (Ai) and the y axis becomes the Sin (Ar). The slope is Ni/Nr. I assume that the Ni or the index of refraction of the air is one. The index of refraction of the jell-o is Nr which we can determine by finding the slope of the graph. Ni/slope of the graph will give the index of refraction of jell-o. For the sample trial, the slope is .7527. The index of refraction is 1/.7527= 1.33. ...read more.


Being off by one or two millimeter can mean a two or three degree difference in the refractive angle which could change the slope of the line produced on the graphs. This error could increase or decrease the value of the index of refraction. To correct this error, it is possible to limit the amount of error by repeating the trials more times to reduce all the answers that do not make sense. Continue to repeat the trials until getting consistent results. Another error could be that the sides of the container are not exactly perpendicular to the line. Rounded edges can cause reflecting of the laser's beam to different directions. Difference in direction could mean a difference in the refracted angle. It may not be a huge difference, but it can be changed to improve the accuracy of the results. It can simply be corrected using containers that would produce straighter sides. A third source of error could be the levels of independent variable may be too large or too small to measure and get results that can be compared to see the difference in the refractive index. The amounts I choose were 25%, 50%, 100% (control) and 200% for the volume of water. To correct this problem, it's possible just to choose levels of independent variable that are more close together. For instance, maybe choose 120% of water and 140% of water instead of a huge gap like 100% to 200%. ...read more.

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