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Introduction to Optics

OPTICS is the branch of physics which involves the


behavior and properties of light.
Optical science is relevant to and studied in many
disciplines including astronomy, various engineering
fields,
photography
and
medicine
(particularly
ophthalmology and optometry). Practical applications of
optics are found in a variety of technologies and
everyday objects, including mirrors, telescopes, lenses,
microscopes, lasers and fibre optics. Many people
benefit from eyeglasses or contact lenses and optics
are integral to the functioning of many consumer goods
including cameras. Rainbows and mirages are
examples of optical phenomena.
Optical Instruments
Single lenses have a variety of applications including
photographic lenses, corrective lenses and magnifying
glasses while single mirrors are used in parabolic
reflectors and rear view mirrors.
A periscope is simply two plane mirrors aligned to allow
for viewing around obstructions. Microscopes have the
effect of producing magnified images of close objects.
Telescopes aid in the observation of remote objects.
Movie Projectors throw enormous images onto screen
and lighthouses cast reassuring beams of light far
across the ocean. Amazing curves of glass or plastic
called lenses make all these things possible.
How do Lenses Work ?
A lens is a transparent piece of glass or plastic with at
least one curved surface.

A lens works by REFRACTION : it bends light rays as


they pass through it so they change direction. This
means the ray seems to come from a point thats closer
or further away from where they actually originate
and that makes objects seen through a lens either
bigger or smaller than they really are.
Types of Lenses
There are two main types of lenses, known as Convex
(or converging) and Concave (or diverging).
In a Convex lens, the surfaces bulge outwards in the
centre. It makes parallel light rays passing through it
bend inward and meet at a spot just beyond the lens
known as the focal point.

Convex lenses are used in things like telescopes and


binoculars to bring distant light rays to a focus in your
eyes.
In a Concave lens, the outer surfaces curve inwards, so
it makes parallel light rays curve outward or diverge.

Concave lenses are used in things like TV projectors to


make light rays spread out in the distance.
It is possible to make lenses that behave in more
complex ways by combining convex and concave
lenses.

Magnification and Optical Distance of a Lens


Magnification is the process of enlarging something
only in appearance. A magnifying glass uses a convex
lens to make things look bigger by allowing the user to
hold them closer to their eye. The power of
magnification of a lens is a measurement of how
much bigger the lens will make an object appear. The
magnification power of a lens can change depending
upon how close the lens is to the object being viewed,
this is called optical distance.
The actual measurement is the actual size of the
object being viewed through the magnifying lens. The
optical measurement is the size of the object as it
appears through the lens.
Experiment :
3 objects a dirham coin, a lego block, a paper clip

The objects will be measured using a simple ruler. Then


the objects will be viewed through the magnifying lens
and the magnified image will be measured. The lens
will be held at 2 different lengths 3cm and 6 cm from the objects to get two different magnified images.
The optical measurement of the objects at two optical
distances will be compared to show the relationship
between magnified image and optical distance.
Materials and Equipment:

Magnifying glass with a sturdy handle


Ruler
Scotch tape
Cable tie
Chuck of clay
Objects to be measured a dirham coin, lego
block, paper clip

Experimental Procedure :
1. Print a ruler from an online ruler site. I used
iruler.net.

2. Cut using scissors and stick it with scotch tape to


the inside diameter of the magnifying glass. This
will serve as a guide for our optical measurements.

3. Tie a cable tie to an original ruler. It should be able


to slide up and down along the ruler without
slipping.
4. Tape the magnifying glass onto the cable tie, so
that the glass is perpendicular to the ruler.
5. Place the ends of the ruler into a chuck of clay and
secure the clay to the table so that the apparatus
does not topple.
6. Data Table to record our measurements of actual
size, height of lens (optical distance) and optical
size (as viewed from magnifying lens). The actual
measurements of the objects is also noted.
Object
1 Dirham
coin
(Diameter
measured)
Lego Block
(Length
measured)
Paper Clip
(Length
measured)

Actual Size
cm
2.2

Height of
lens cm
3.0
6.0

Optical size
cm
6.6
8.8

3.0

3.0
6.0

6.0
12.0

2.4

3.0
6.0

4.8
9.6

7. Place the first object dirham coin on the table


beneath the apparatus.
8. Adjust the magnifying glass to a fixed height above
the table, using the ruler as a guide by moving the
cable tie. Note the height of the lens in the data
table.

9. Look through the lens of the magnifying glass,


using the taped ruler as a guide, note the optical
size of the coin.
10.Continue to change the height of the magnifying
glass and take
optical measurements of
the coin.
11.Repeat steps 7 to 10 for the lego block and the
paper clip and record data in the table.

Safety Issues :

Due to weight of magnifying glass, the apparatus


was in danger of toppling over.
Conclusions :
Object
1 Dirham
coin
(Diameter
measured)
Lego Block
(Length
measured)
Paper Clip
(Length
measured)

Actual Size
cm
2.2

Height of
lens cm
3.0
6.0

Optical size
cm
6.6
8.8

3.0

3.0
6.0

6.0
12.0

2.4

3.0
6.0

4.8
9.6

From the above data collected, it is safe to conclude


that as the optical distance increases the magnification
of the object also increases.
At a height of 3cms from object, the object was
magnified twice its actual size and at a height of 6 cms
the object was magnified four times.
Sources of Error :
1. Zero error may have occurred in measuring the
optical distance and the optical image and actual
image.
2. The base of the ruler has to be touching the
surface of the table.
3. The cable tie must be tight so as not to slip down
the ruler.

4. The lens should be parallel to the surface of the


table.

From the above experimental data, we can safely


conclude that as the optical distance increases the
magnification of the object increases.
The following experiment can be done with different
types of lenses to see the effect on magnification.
Because different types of lenses bend light in different
ways, there will be a big difference in the way our eyes
will see the objects through a lens. Some shapes of
lenses can make the object smaller or make them
appear upside down. Also if we increase the optical
distance more than 25 cm, it becomes difficult for the
human eye to focus on it. This was beyond the scope of
the experiment.