Bending Light

Objective

To observe behavior of light under different conditions.

Difficulty

Procedure: Easy

Concept: Easy

Concept

Even though we interact with light every day, it has mysterious characteristics. One of these characteristics is how light interacts with other materials in the world.

Light is thought to be both a wave and particle. The waves are known as electro-magnetic waves and the particles are known as photon. By seeing how light interacts with materials, can you give information about the materials? In order to do so, we need to understand how light interacts.

One of the most prominent interactions we observe is bending of light. It can be easily observed when you are at the aquarium. There is a law called Snell's Law that explains how much light bends.

Snell's Law describes the behavior of light in terms of a parameter called the index of refraction (n). The index of refraction varies from material to material.

Thanks to commercially available lasers, we can observe this easily by putting graph paper behind glass!

Personalizing Your Project

Things to Consider

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References