You are on page 1of 4

Objective

The purpose of this experiment is to prove the laws of reflection and
refraction, and to determine the angle of the total internal reflection and the index of
refraction in the experiment.

Theory

The theory being experimented in this procedure is that of Willebrord Snell.
From his theory we understand that the incident ray, the normal line and the
refracted ray all lie on the same plane. We also understand that the relationship is
defined in a ratio with the following equation;


Which means that the ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the
angle of refraction, I equal to the ratio of the speed of light in the original medium and
the speed of light in the refracting medium.


Procedure
We set up the optics track, light source and the ray table. We then aligned the flat side
of the mirror with the ray of light from the light source.
We rotated the ray table in increments of 10 . The first set were done going clockwise.
Once done we then did the same thing but going counterclockwise. This gave us the
Angles of Reflection. FromThe two Angles of Reflection we were able to calculate the
average Angles of Reflection, listed in Table 1.
For the Law of Refraction, we replaced the mirror with a Acrylic cylindrical lens.
We rotated the ray table clockwise by increments of 10 again. We repeated the same
measurements but instead with counterclockwise angles. From the two angles of
refraction we were able to calculate the average angles of refraction.
Finally, we aligned the flat side of the lens so that incoming light ray struck the
cylindrical surface. We rotated the ray table until the refracted ray disappeared
completely and only the reflected ray was visible. This is the angle of incidence. This
gave us our angle of incidence theoretical value. From this we were also able to
calculate the angle of refraction.










Results

Table 1 – The Law of Reflection
Angle of incidence Angle of reflection
(clockwise)
Angle of reflection
(counter clockwise)
Average angle of
reflection
10 12 8 11
20 23 18 20.5
30 32.5 29 30.75
40 42.5 39 40.75
50 53 49 51
60 63 59.5 61.25
70 73.5 69 71.25
80 83 79 81
A80ngle of


Slope from graph = 1.0065

Table 2 – The Law of Refraction
Angle of
incidence
Sin Angle of
refraction
(clockwise)
Angle of
refraction
(counter
clockwise)
Average
angle of
refraction
Sin
10 .174 9.5 11 10.25 .177
20 .342 20 20.5 20.2 .345
30 .5 30 30.5 30.2 .503
40 .643 39.5 41 40.5 .649
50 .766 49.5 50.5 51 .777
60 .866 59.5 61 60.25 .868
70 .94 69.5 71 70.25 .941
80 .985 80 80.5 80.2 .985
y = 1.0065x + 0.6429
R² = 0.9999
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
0 20 40 60 80 100
Series1
Linear (Series1)



Slope from graph = 1.0014
Index of Refraction n = 1.43

% error n = [(1.0014 – 1.43) / 1.43 ]* 100% = 29.97%


Data Table 3 – Critical Angle
Critical Angle = 44.0
Angle of
Index of Refraction = 1.43
Nglass = 1.43
% error = [ ( 1.43 – 1.43 ) / 1.43 ] * 100% = 0%


Conclusion

The experiment was unsuccessful for our group due to the % error had from data table
2. But we know this was due to inaccurate reading when taking the angles. Otherwise if
it had been a lot more accurate it would have correlated with the theory. A way we can
improve future results is by double checking our readings or taking multiple readings.



y = 1.0014x - 0.0045
R² = 0.9999
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
Series1
Linear (Series1)