Thin Lenses Lab

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  • Topic: Refraction, Snell's law, Total internal reflection
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  • Published : April 30, 2013
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Thin Lenses

Group members:
Trevor Kitts
Ryan Mutsch

Author: Trevor Kitts
1402L
September 10, 2012

Introduction
In this week’s lab we looked at the movement of light between multiple lenses and their focal points. Procedure
List of materials: Optics Bench, equipped with laser and triangular like prism. First, we aligned the laser with the 0⁰ mark and the center of the prism so that the light hit the bottom of the prism in a perpendicular form. Second, we observed that the light did not refract when it entered the prism in the perpendicular form. Next we began turning the prism in 10⁰ increments clockwise and observing the changes while taking data. After turning the prism ten times we reset the optics bench to 0⁰ and began the 10⁰ increments again, this time counter clockwise. We recorded data and observed the refractions ten more times.

Data Table
Data Table: Snell's Law and Refraction|
Trial number| Sin θ₁| Sin θ₂| m₂|
1| 0⁰| 0⁰| 0.0|
2| 10⁰| 4⁰| 2.0|
3| 20⁰| 8⁰| 2.5|
4| 30⁰| 12⁰| 2.4|
5| 40⁰| 15⁰| 2.5|
6| 50⁰| 20⁰| 2.2|
7| 60⁰| 25⁰| 2.0|
8| 70⁰| 32⁰| 1.8|
9| 80⁰| 40⁰| 1.5|
10| 90⁰| 0⁰| 0.0|

Error analysis
One window for error we noticed occurred when reading the angle of refraction. It was hard to decide exactly where the beam was and sometimes it was between degree tick marks. Another error we noticed was the prism shifted easily when barely touched. Since it was not connected to the optics bench we had to check it regularly. Otherwise the angle of refraction was incorrect.

Figures and Graphs

Discussion
I learned the light from the laser did not bend when the bottom of the prism was perpendicular to the light source. However, the light did bend when we started turning the prism in 10⁰ increments. This is when I noticed a source of error. At times the exact degree of reflection was hard to read for two reasons. First, the refracted light can be hard to measure...
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