Light Passing from a Less Dense to a Denser Medium

In this part of the lab, you are going to investigate refraction as light goes from air to water. To this, you are going to adjust the angle of incidence for the incoming light and observe the effect it has on the angle of refraction. To activate the light, click on the red button. To adjust the angle of incidence, put your cursor on the light source and drag it in the direction of the green arrows.

For each of the scenarios below, set the angle of incident to the required angle and record the angle of refraction. Use these values, along with the index of refraction for both mediums, to verify Snell’s Law for each scenario.

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Scenario 1:

 

Angle of Incidence

 

Air Index of Refraction

 

 
30o 1.00  
Angle of Refraction

 

Water Index of Refraction

 

 
  1.33  

Scenario 2:

 

Angle of Incidence

 

Air Index of Refraction

 

 
60o 1.00  
Angle of Refraction

 

Water Index of Refraction

 

 
  1.33  

Questions

1. In both scenarios, were you able to verify Snell’s Law?

2. Make a general statement comparing the angle of incidence to the angle of refraction as light moves from a less dense to a denser material.

3. Make a prediction regarding how the angle of incidence would compare to the angle of refraction if the light were moving from a dense to a less dense material.

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