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Refraction at the air-water boundary

Refraction at the air-water boundary

Item no.: P1064500

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In this experiment, the students should investigate the refraction of light when it passes from air into water and measure the angle of refraction β for given angles of incidence α. In addition to developing the students' experimental skills in undertaking precise and careful experiments, making careful adjustments and measuring the angles at the optical disk, they also learn to formulate another application of the law of refraction.
Investigation of the special case of α = 0° leads to the recognition that laws of physics are only valid under specific conditions.
The second part of the experiment is more demanding in terms of the experimental skills of the students. Both experiments can be seen as a unit, but it is nevertheless possible to carry out the two experiments separately.


  • 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


Why are reflections of objects on large water surfaces darker than the originals?

  1. Investigate the behaviour of narrow light beams on passing from air into water.
  2. Measure the angle of refraction as a function of the angle of incidence when light passes from air into water.
Document     Filesize
p1064500e.pdf Experiment guide, English 322.09 KB

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