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Light, Brightness, and Distance

# Light, Brightness, and Distance

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12/12/2012

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Rishi GargPhysics, 6
th
PeriodMr. McQueen22 April 2008
Light, Brightness, and Distance
Preliminary Questions:
1)I think that the intensity of the light will decrease as it passes throughthe set of two spheres. If the source of light emits a focused beam, theintensity will decrease the same amount when passing through thefirst and second spheres.2)Since the outer sphere has a radius twice that of the inner sphere, let’sassign the spheres radii of 1 and 2. Therefore, the surface area of theinner sphere is 4π, and the surface area of the outer sphere is 16π.Let’s say that if we had a third sphere with a radius of 3, it would havea surface area of 36π. If we factor out a 4π from each of these surfaceareas, we end up with 1, 4, and 9. This looks suspiciously like thesequence of square numbers. Therefore, I believe that the intensity of light decreases by a factor of the distance squared.
Analysis:
1)My graph of light intensity vs. distance does not appear to beconsistent with the model I predicted in the preliminary questions.Although the graph as a whole appears to be a horizontal reflection of the graph of x
2
, I am looking for a straight, linear line. Once I find thisline, I will know that the relationship between the x and y axes is true.2)My graph of light intensity vs. the inverse of distance squared appearsto be consistent with the model I predicted in the preliminaryquestions. I know this because the data appears to form a linear line. There is one point that appears to be slightly out of place, but I canprobably attribute that to experimental error. The rest of the pointsseem to fit into place as a straight line. This means that therelationship between the x and y axes is scientifically true.3)Based on my graphs, I believe that the relationship between theintensity of light and the distance from the light source involves afactor of d
2
. Since my graph of intensity vs. the inverse of the distancesquared formed a straight line, I believe that the intensity of light has arelationship of 1d2. This means that as the distance grows greater fromthe light source, the intensity decreases by a factor of the square of the distance.4)My experimental setup might have not exactly matched therelationship I predicted between intensity and distance because the