Reflection and Refraction Lab

Topics: Optics, Total internal reflection, Refraction Pages: 4 (1364 words) Published: May 2, 2006
OBJECTIVE
The objective of this experiment is to study refraction and reflection and also to use Snell's law correctly to determine the optical properties and indices of refraction for a prism. DATA
All data is included in an excel spreadsheet, attached to this write-up. Some uncertainties that see probable in the case of general human error are the basic visualization of the location of the pin, the measuring of the angles with a protractor, the possibly imprecise way to draw the reflected and incident rays and a general error in calculation. It is also possible that some uncertainties were caused by equipment imperfections, such as the mirrors being warped or the pins being bent. Also, some protractors were more precise and easily read, while others were not. RESULTS

µ=∑(x) , where µ= mean in cm (also referred to as ), ∑= summation, x= the actual numbers obtained in the data set recorded in ohms, n= the number of data points. Ex: (1.391+1.766+1.431+1.643+1.530+1.209+1.447+1.486)/8 = 1.488

n1sinθ1=n2sinθ2, where n1= the indices of refraction of air (denoted as 1), θ1= the angle from the parallel that corresponds to n1, n1= the indices of refraction of the prism, θ2= the angle from the parallel that corresponds to n2.

Ex: 1Sin34=n2Sin23
n2=1.431

There are no graphs associated with this experiment, however there are pictures where the angles measured and that rays determined are drawn in a labeled. These pictures are attached to this write-up. DISCUSSION

We are first observing the reflection of a pin from a flat mirror. Reflection is defined as the rebounding of a particle or wave due to encountering a barrier or a change in the medium. An original pin was placed at a chosen distance in front of a flat mirror. While looking into the mirror from various chosen angles, additional pins were then placed in the path of the reflected ray and the angle from the perpendicular was measured. Since we know that the...
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