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Periscope and kaleidoscope

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Introduction

There are several concepts which can explain how light propagates and how mirror images form. For this instance,

the group decided to include the concepts in Optics which are of most importance.

Based on the previous topics, reflection and refraction are the two most important aspects in light propagation. These

are explained through two principles that were formulated from the conclusions gathered from an experiment made

between two optical materials [1]. Beginning with the law of reflection, it was stated that for any pair of objects, the

angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence, this is given by:

𝜃𝑟 = 𝜃𝑎 (1)

The instruments Periscope and Kaleidoscope uses plane mirror in forming images. The Plane mirror has a lateral

magnification (m) which is in unity since the image height (y') and the object’s height (y) is equal y = y′; for any image

forming situation, the ratio of image height (𝑦 ′ ) to an object’s height (y) is demonstrated by Lateral Magnification

(m), given by:

𝑦′

𝑚= (2)

𝑦

Furthermore, it was also observe that the incident, reflected and refracted rays and the normal to the surface all lie to

the same plane this is explored in the Law of Refraction which states that the measured ratio of the sines of angle 𝜃𝑎

and 𝜃𝑏 from a normal to the surface is equal to the inverse ratio of two indexes of refraction [1], this could be

rearranged and simplified into:

To find the index of refraction (n) of each optical material, the speed of light in a vacuum (c) should be divided by the

speed of light (v) in each materials, this is given by:

𝑐

𝑛= (4)

𝑣

Subsequently, the index of refraction is dependent also on the wavelength of light, not only on the substance; this

reliance over wavelength is called dispersion. The wavelength of light (λ) in a material is equal to the product of the

wavelength of light in vacuum (λ0) divided by the index of refraction of the material (n), this can be written as:

𝜆0

𝜆= (5)

𝑛

However, refraction doesn’t always occur when a ray of light passes through a boundary of two media particularly

when the angle of incidence is greater than 48.6 degrees and at the critical angle of refraction 90 degrees; the

phenomena when the total amount of incident light at boundary between two media is called Total Internal Reflection

[2], given by:

𝑛𝑏

𝑠𝑖𝑛 𝜃𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑡 = (6)

𝑛𝑎

Where, the critical angle for total internal reflection (𝜃𝑐𝑟𝑖𝑡 ) is a product of the index of refraction of a second material

(nb) divided by the Index of refraction of a first material (na).

Lastly, when an objects are reflected in a plane mirror, there could be angles formed that are very small (θ) hence,

Paraxial approximation is used. Paraxial approximation is beneficial for Paraxial rays that are nearly parallel and so

close to the axis in a system or when the tangent of an angle is lesser than one radian and so, nearly equals itself.

This experiment aims to understand the behavior of light rays in the presence of optical devices as well as the images

formed relating to the concepts in Optics and Geometric optics. Since the Periscope and Kaleidoscope apparatus would

be utilized, the Law of Reflection and Refraction would be highly significant in the experiment as well as the Paraxial

approximation. Given such instance, the images reflected and refracted would be observed at different angles; 30

degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees and 90 degrees. Finally, the gathered data were to be analyzed and interpreted.

References:

[1] H.D. Young et.al., Sears and Zemansky’s University Physics with Modern Physics, 14th edition, Pearson Education

Inc., 2014

[2] The Physics Classroom, Refraction and the Ray Model of Light- Lesson 3- Total Internal Reflection, 2018.

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