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Determining the refractive index of glass

Determining the refractive index of glass

Item no.: P1064400

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In this experiment, the students have the possibility of perfecting their experimental skills and strengthening their understanding of the law of refraction. In conjunction with the observation of incident light at the boundary between air and glass, the path of the light beam is determined and evaluated by using a semigraphical procedure. In this way, the importance of mathematics for the understanding of physics can be demonstrated.
The experiment is demanding in terms of the experimental skills of the students. Only after careful adjustments and a conscientious evaluation can good results be obtained. However, the comparison of the experimentally obtained (relative) refractive index with the values in the table should give the students the feeling that, despite the simplified experimental conditions, they have obtained a relatively precise result.
The experiment can be beneficially used even at the second level of secondary school. Here, the semigraphical procedure can be complemented by the calculation of the sine values for α and β! Thus, the quantitative version of Snell's law of refraction can be determined.


  • Multifunctional light box - All-in-one: Can be used for geometric optics on the table, colour mixing and on an optical bench
  • Extension with others sets at anytime, no additional light sources needed, recognition value for students


What does the refractive index indicate? Determine the refractive index of glass.

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p1064400e.pdf Experiment guide, English 324.63 KB

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