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Physics Honors/AP 1 and 2

Chapter 24: 1-5 Assignment

Course Materials are always under revision! Weblecture content may change anytime prior to two weeks before scheduled chat session for content.

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Physics 24: 1-5 Light Transmission Through Media


Reading Preparation

Text Reading: Giancoli, Physics - Principles with Applications, Chapter 24: Sections 1 to 5

Study Points

Key Equations

  • Snell's Law from Huygen's Principle: sin   θ 1   sin   θ 2   =   v 1 v 2   ,   v 1   =   c n 1 ,   v 2   =   c n 2 n 1 sin   θ 1   =   n 2 sin   θ 2
  • Wavelength of light in new medium with index of refraction n: λ vacuum   or   air n   =   λ n
  • Constructive interference diffraction (bright) d   sin   θ   =   m λ ,   n   =   1 ,   2 ,   3....  

    d = distance from central axis opposite slit
    θ = angle from slit along axis to band
    l (distance between slit and screen) >> d

  • Destructive interference diffraction (dark) d   sin   θ   =   ( m   +   ½ ) λ ,   n   =   0 ,   1 ,   2....  
  • First minimum: sin   θ   =   λ D

    D = slit width

Web Lecture

Read the following weblecture before chat: The Wave Nature of Light

Study Activity

Use the interactive activity to explore the implications of Snell's law.

  • Click on the introduction panel.
    • Turn on the laser. What happens to the beam of light as it hits the interface between air and water?
    • How is the angle of reflection related to the angle of incidence?
    • How is the angle of refraction related to the angle of incidence?
    • What happens if you reverse the media, so light starts in water and then enters air?
    • Explore at least two other pairs of media. Use Snell's law and the information about the index of refraction to predict the angles of reflection and refraction, then use the protractor to measure the experimental values.
    • Use the intensity meter to determine how much light is reflected and how much is refracted at each interface. How are these values related to the density of each medium?
    • Repeat your observations using the wave visualization.
  • Use the "More tools" option to explore light reflection and diffraction by measuring speed and time, and vary the wavelength.

Physics simulation Java Applets are the product of the PHET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Chat Preparation Activities

Chapter Quiz

Lab Work

If you want lab credit for this course, you must complete at least 12 labs (honors course) or 18 labs (AP students). One or more lab exercises are posted for each chapter as part of the homework assignment. We will be reviewing lab work at regular intervals, so do not get behind!