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Reflection And Refraction Experiment Essay

1346 words - 5 pages

INTRODUCTION:The purpose of this experiment was to test the validity of the Law of Reflection and Snell's Law (Also known as the Law of Refraction).Reflection is defined as the reversal in direction of a particle stream or wave upon encountering a boundary. The law of reflection states that the angle of reflection and angle of incidence are equal, with each angle being measured from the normal to the boundary:Refraction is defined as the bending of light that takes place at a boundary between two materials having different indices of refraction due to a change in the speed of light as it passes from one medium to another. The Law of Reflection (Snell's Law) states that the ratio of the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction is equivalent to the ratio of velocities in the two media, or equivalent to the opposite ratio of the indices of refraction: During the course of analyzing our data, we calculated the index of refraction for the plastic lens and thereby the speed of light in the plastic.The expected results that would need to occur to prove the validity of the Law of Reflection would be that when we conduct the experiment, the measure of the angle of incidence would have to be equal to the measurement of the angle of reflection, because this is what the Law of Reflection states.The expected results that would need to occur to prove the validity of Snell's Law would be that as light passes the border between media, depending upon the relative refractive indices of the two media, the light will either be refracted to a lesser angle, or a greater one.PROCEDURE:The materials that were needed for this experiment were: a table, a pencil, paper for notes, a laser, a platform, and a lens. The setup of the materials was as shown: Initially, before we began our experiment, we used the adjustment screws on the back of the laser to make sure that the laser-line went straight down the "normal" line on the platform.Part One:We aligned the flat side of the cylindrical lens along the line on the platform labeled "component." We were able to just barely see the edge of the "component line" under the edge of the lens. When it was precisely aligned, we saw that the laser followed the normal line all the way through the lens and across the platform, passing through the "zero" angle on both sides. We spent a minute adjusting the lens until we were satisfied and had it in the right position. The lens slipped at times during the experiment, and we recentered it on the "zero" angle.Without moving the lens, we rotated the platform in both directions and observed the incident ray, the faint ray that was reflected from the flat surface, and the more intense refracted ray that exited the curved surface. We noticed now that all three rays fell along a measured angle from the normal line.On a separate sheet of paper, we created Table 1 with seven columns and ten rows to document the data we observed while we conducted our experiment.Not moving the lens, we...

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