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Physics Honors/AP 1 and 2

LAB: Angles of Refraction and Focal Lengths

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 Lab

Physics Lab: Refraction and Lenses - Do Both Parts!

Goal 1: To determine the angle of refraction of two different liquids

Materials and Procedure

  1. Use the experiment setup at Watercamp WS to determine the angle of refraction of at least two different liquids [Note: this is a PDF File that will download.].

Data Handling

  1. Use the suggested table layout to capture your data and perform the necessary calculations.


  1. Complete the analysis section of the lab for your report.

Goal 2: To measure the focal length of lenses



  1. Determine the focal length of two of your lenses, one convex and one concave. If you need hints on how to proceed, look at the lens activity from the Patterns in Nature site.
  2. Create a table format and record all your measurements.

Data Handling

  1. Calculate the focal length of each lens.


  1. Describe your materials, equipment, an dprocedures in sufficient detail that your fellow students could repeat your experiment.
  2. Report your data. Be sure to indicate the amount of error in your measurements. For example, if you can only measure a mass of 25 gms within 1 grm, your error would be 25 ± 1, or 1/25 = 4%.
  3. Present your data in an organized form, preferably in a table, in such a way it is easy to compare results as you repeate trials or vary a specific contributing factor.
  4. Show a sample calculation, if you have calculated values.
  5. If you did a series of experiments, varying something by increasing or decreasing a factor, try to plot your data (y-axis) as a function of the factor (x-axis).
  6. You may use a spreadsheet to calculate your information and create your table.
  7. Summarize your results.
  8. Draw conclusions about what is happening.
  9. Suggest at least one way to improve your experiment.

Post your report to the Lab thread at the Moodle.