sample laboratory report - Abstract The index of refraction...

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Abstract The index of refraction of a medium is a measure for how much the speed of light (or other waves such as sound waves) is reduced inside the medium. When light travels from a material of higher refractive index to that of a lower refractive index (e.g. from glass to air), then at a certain angle of incidence, light would partially be refracted out of the first material, and partially reflected within the material. In this experiment, push pins were used as the markers for the light which would pass through the glass. The glass plate was placed on the data sheet provided with a Cartesian plane and a circle, such that the circle’s center is located at the origin of the Cartesian plane. The experiment also proves the law of refraction, as well as the total internal reflection. Introduction The index of refraction of a medium is a measure for how much the speed of light (or other waves such as sound waves) is reduced inside the medium. For example, glass would have a refractive index of 1.5, which means that in glass, light travels at 1 / 1.5 = 0.67 times the speed of light in a vacuum. Two common properties of glass and other transparent materials are directly related to their refractive index. First, light rays change direction when they cross the interface from air to the material, an effect that is used in lenses and glasses. Second, light reflects partially from surfaces that have a refractive index different from that of their surroundings. When light travels from a material of higher refractive index to that of a lower refractive index (e.g. from glass to air), then at a certain angle of incidence, light would partially be refracted out of the first material, and partially reflected within the material. However, if the incident light is close to being parallel to the boundary of the material, then at a certain angle, the light would not refract out of the material, and instead reflect within the material. This phenomenon is known as the Total Internal Reflection. In determining for the index of refraction of materials, calculations were done using the law of refraction (also known as Snell’s Law): = n1sinθ1 n2sinθ2 ; where n is the index of refraction of the material, and   θ is the angle of incidence. The subscripts 1 and 2 denote the first and second material respectively. The formula was obtained from the textbook; University Physics by Young and Freedman. In determining for the critical angle of the total internal reflection, Snell’s law was also used, only this time the angle of incidence for the second medium was taken to be 90° because for TIR, should the incident light reflect within the second
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