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The Refraction Experiment - Lab Report Example

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The paper "The Refraction Experiment" states that the experiment was relatively successful as demonstrated by the closeness of the experimental results to the results found in the literature. However, this does not imply that the experiment was free of errors. …
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The Refraction Experiment
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Download file to see previous pages When light travels from air to water it will have a bending effect on the light as a result of the change in speed causing a subsequent change in direction of travel. Two angles are important in this perspective; the angle of refraction and the incident angle. Refractive index (RI) with regard to Snell’s Law provides a mathematical relationship between the incident angle and the angle of refraction. 
The light travels in a perpendicular line and RI cannot be measured by comparing the two angles. In such a case one can measure the RI by getting the ratio of the Real Depth (RD) to the Apparent Depth (AD). For instance, when determining the RI of water one can insert a measurement ruler until it touches the bottom of a beaker of known height (RD), and then comparing it with the depth as seen by the eye (AD). The following experiment consists of two parts; the first part used fresh tap water while the second experiment used salty water.
The real depth (RD) of the container was measured.
The container was then filled with ordinary tap water and a metal pin placed at the bottom of the container.
A mirror was placed on top of the container so that the back of the mirror was in contact with water. The mirror covered only half of the water surface.
A second pin was stuck in cork and fixed with the retort stand and a clamp.
The container was then looked directly while moving the second pin until there was no parallax between the image of the second pin in the mirror and the first pin in the container.
After it was ascertained that there was no parallax, the height of the second pin above the mirror was measured and then recorded as the apparent depth (AD).
Each of the above steps was repeated for each the different glass beakers and the refractive indices were measured and then their average computed.

According to literature, the refractive index of water is averagely 1.3 (Freeman, 2003). In essence, the experimental results were closer to the results found in the literature. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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