Convex Lenses Question to consider for the Lenses experiment


Complete the following table for each of the different convex lenses you used for the experiment. Lenses 1: Estimated value of focal length, f

U –cm

1 u


1 v

1 1 + u v

Predicted value of f

2. 3.

What happened when the object was further away from the lens? (Describe the location and description of the image) What was the effect of using different lenses? In other words if the lens was ‘fatter’, in other words it bulged more in the middle what effect did that have on the focal length? For each lens draw a graph of the following: Use image distance on the vertical axis vs object distance on the horizontal axis. Just plot the data points. Do not connect them with lines. a. Do the data points appear to lie on a smooth curve? b. Try to draw a smooth curve through the data points. Remember, no measurements are ever perfect, so it is ok to let the curve miss the data points by a little.


Can you think of a different way to replot the data so that the graphed data points will lie approximately on a straight line? Hint The theory predicts that 1 + 1 = 1 . Thus if you construct (from your measured u’s and v’s) new variables, x and y defined as
u v f

x = 1 and y = , the equation 1 + 1 = 1 can be rewritten as y = −1x +
u v f

1 v

1 . This is the equation of a straight line of slope -1 and f

y- intercept 1 . Plotting y on the vertical axis vs. x on the horizontal axis, the data points should lie on a straight line with the f predicted slope and y- intercept.


Do the above and see if the points on this graph appear to lie on a straight line? Draw the best straight line through your data points using a straight edge. Determine the slope and y intercept of this line and record these on the data sheet.


Does the slope agree with the prediction? (You might answer this question by checking if a line that does have the predicted slope can be drawn equally well through the data points.

7. 8.

Obtain an estimate of the focal length from your data. Remember that the y- intercept of your line is predicted to be Predict the image distance when the object distance gets very large, i.e., becomes infinite.

1 . f


Compare this prediction with the focal length of the lens before doing the experiment.

10. See if you can include errors in your results. Refer to your text book.

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