Lab 3 written - Eric Kirchoff and Shannon Macadams TA...

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Eric Kirchoff and Shannon Macadams TA: Miaoyin (Kevin) Wang Physics 232, Section 232-006 Lab performed Feb. 3, 2009 Lab due Feb. 10, 2009 Lab Three: Refraction of Light Introduction: The purpose of this lab is to study light as it travels from one medium to another, to study Snell’s law of refraction, to understand indices of refraction, and to be familiar with these indices especially that for glass. This is to be done by using a block of glass and varying the angle of incident. The basic theory behind the experiment is the relationship between velocity (v), frequency (ν), and wavelength (λ) where velocity of speed of light equals frequency multiplied by wavelength: v = ν*λ. Regardless of the medium the light is traveling in, the frequency will remain constant. The wavelength will vary, however, from medium to medium, thereby changing the speed of light. In a vacuum, the speed of light (c) is 2.99792458*10^(8) m/sec. In a medium the velocity is always less which is where the index of refraction (n) comes from. The index of refraction for a medium is the speed of light divided by the velocity of light in a material: n = c/v. Changes in the index of refraction between two media allow for the refraction of light when light crosses over at an angle. The angle from the normal of the surface to the angle of
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refraction is known as the incident. Light that passes from one medium to another will bend towards the medium if the index of refraction in the second medium is higher and away if it is lower. To calculate the new angle Snell’s law can be used. It states that: n1sinθ1=n2sin(θ2). Theta one is equal to the angle of the incident and theta two is the angle of refraction.
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