Measure the index of refraction of a substance.
This project may be done by teams of 1-2 individuals. The goal is to measure the index of refraction of some material.
There are several ways you might proceed. In all cases, you may assume that the index of refraction of air is exactly 1, even though it's really a teeny bit larger.
There may be other methods to measure index of refraction, too. You may adopt any method you wish, as long as you describe clearly how your method works.
If necessary, you can borrow a laser from the stockroom, or from me.
Once you've made the measurements and calculated the index of refraction in a substance, try to look up the accepted value for that substance. There are a number of values in your book; if you can't find an entry for your material, talk to me, and I'll try to help with some additional references. If there is a large difference (more than 10 percent) between your value and the accepted one, try to explain it.
Submit a report which contains a description of your method, with a clear drawing and all relevant dimensions. Include the data for your experiment, and all calculations. You may also include interesting items you discovered during the course of the procedure.
This page maintained by Michael Richmond. Last modified Apr 16, 1998.
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.