Experiment of The Month
Optics Lab; Laser Index of Refraction
Our new optic course, physics 331, is running for the first time this fall. We will examine several of the new laboratory exercises in that course. The picture below on the left shows four of our optics experimental stations.
The first lab repeats an experiment from introductory physics, measuring the index of refraction of water. The purpose of the lab is to acquaint students with the Newport optical experimentation kits.
In the figure above, right, light travel from the
The round spots are placed at approximately the positions actually marked by the laser beam. The laser beam light itself did not reproduce well in these photos. From these spots, students can determine
When Dr. Gilani had students add a little bit of black ink-jet printer ink to the water, two things happened:
- The ink scattered the laser light and made the light path through the water nicely visible.
- The index of refraction increased by about 10%