Essay on Reflection and Refraction Lab

1366 Words May 17th, 2006 6 Pages
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.
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
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When you place a real object in the position of the virtual image and they look like they are in the same position, regardless of the direction they are viewed from, you have just determined the location by parallax. This property stated that there is no obviously motion of the two objects, regardless of the direction they are viewed from, only if the two objects are at the same location. To determine if the locations of the two objects were equal, the distance from the original pin to the mirror surface and the real object to the mirror surface is measured. If the locations of the two objects are the same these measured distances would be equal.

We are secondly observing the general properties and characteristics of refraction. Refraction is defined as the change in speed of a wave due to being in a different medium. Pins were placed in a linear fashion along a chosen side of a square prism at a designated angle from the perpendicular. While viewing the virtual image through the opposite side of the square prism, more pins were placed in line with the virtual image, giving the illusion that there was only a single pin being viewed. To show the angle of refraction, the sites where both lines meet the sides of the prism were connected. All angles were measured from the perpendicular. Using Snell's Law and the measured angles, the

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