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BOARD ROLL NUMBER:_____________________

To find the refractive index of transparent liquid


(Here water and oil) by using plane mirror and
equi-convex lens.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATION
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4SpfMM
Ey8Y
PROJECT PROCEDURE
http://www.seminarsonly.com/EngineeringProjects/Physics/Refractive-Indices-of-WaterAnd-Turpentine-Oil.php
http://www.scribd.com/doc/124741001/PhysicsProject#scribd
Comprehensive Practical Physics - Laxmi
Publications

Equi-convex lens, plane mirror, a thin needle,


iron stand with clamp, water and oil,
spherometer, metre scale

By lens-makers formula

1
1
1
( 1) ( ) =

1 2

Where:
ng: Refractive index of lens glass
nl : Refractive index of liquid used
R1: Radius of curvature of side 1 of
lens
R2: Radius of curvature of side 2 of
lens
From the experiment we can find f (focal
length)
R1 and R2 (Radius of curvatures) can be
measured
ng is known or easily calculated when
experiment is done in air
Hence nl can be calculated by using the lensmakers formula

Finding Radius of Curvature of lens:


1)
2)
3)

4)
5)

6)

7)

Determine the least count and pitch of the


spherometer.
Rotate the screw till it is at zero.
Put the lens on the flat surface and place
the spherometer on top, and rotate the
screw till all 3 legs and tip of screw meet
lens surface.
Note down circular scale reading (call it
a1).
Place the spherometer on a flat surface and
rotate the screw till 3 legs and tip of screw
meets the surface.
Note down the reading in circular scale
(call it a2) and number of complete
rotations (call them n).
Press the 3 legs of spherometer on a sheet
of paper. Using the marks draw a triangle
and measure the length of each side (l1,l2
and l3).

8)
9)

Repeat the steps 2-6 three times and note it


down.
After determining the height divide it by 2
and use it to find radius of curvature (Call
it R) (This due the reason that lens is equiconvex in nature).

Finding focal length of lens:


1)
2)
3)
4)

5)

6)
7)

Place the plane mirror on the floor or on


the base of iron stand.
Fix the clamp and clamp the needle.
Place the lens on the plane mirror.
Adjust the needle and lens such that the
tips object needle and image needle appear
at the centre of lens.
Adjust the clamp height so that both object
needle and image needle are of same size,
tips coincide and move simultaneously at
same speed.
Note down the height of needle from plane
mirror (call it x1).
Note down the height of needle from the

8)
9)

surface of lens (call it x2).


Repeat steps 5-7 three times.
Take the average of the value of x1 and x2.
This is your focal length (f).

Finding refractive index of material the


lens is made of:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

Take R2 as infinity. (Due to plane mirror)


Take R1 as R.
Use f as fa.
Here nl=1 as medium is air.
Using lens maker formula calculate the
value of refractive index of lens ng.

Finding focal length of lens with liquid:


1)

Place the plane mirror on the floor or on


the base of iron stand.
2) Fix the clamp and clamp the needle.
3) Pour the liquid on the mirror. (Use water
first so as water is easier to clean)
4) Place the lens on the plane mirror on the
liquid layer.
5) Adjust the needle and lens such that the
tips object needle and image needle appear
at the centre of lens.
6) Adjust the clamp height so that both object
needle and image needle are of same size,
tips coincide and move simultaneously at
same speed.
7) Note down the height of needle from plane
mirror (call it x1).
8) Note down the height of needle from the
surface of lens (call it x2).
9) Repeat steps 5-7 three times.
10) Take the average of the value of x1 and x2.
This is your focal length (fw).

11) Repeat this experiment with oil as liquid


and take the focal length to be fo.

Finding refractive index of material the


liquid:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

Take R2 as infinity. (Due to plane mirror)


Take R1 as R.
Use f as fw.
Using the value of ng find nl which here is
nw.
Repeat this experiment with f as fo and nl to
be no.

For Radius of Curvature of lens:


Least count of spherometer: 0.001 cm
Sl.No Circlular scale
reading
Lens
a1L.C
(cm)

Flat area
a2L.C
(cm)

If n=0
No
h=(100+a1)-a2
of
turns If n0

1)
2)
3)

h=(n100+a1)-a2

(cm)

h1=
h2=
h3=

Distance between legs of spherometer


1 + 2 + 3
=
3
l=
cm

Height =

1 +2 +3
)
3

h=

cm

Radius of curvature =

2
6

R=

2
2

cm

For focal length of lens:


Sl.No Distance of needle from
Mirror x1 (cm) Lens x2 (cm)
1)
2)
3)
Focal length =
f=

1 +2 +3
3

cm

1 + 2
2

(cm)
f1=
f2=
f3=

For focal length of lens with water:


Sl.No Distance of needle from
Mirror x1 (cm) Lens x2 (cm)
1)
2)
3)
Focal length =

1 + 2
2

(cm)
f1=
f2=
f3=

1 +2 +3
3

fw=

cm

For focal length of lens with oil:


Sl.No Distance of needle from
Mirror x1 (cm) Lens x2 (cm)
1)
2)
3)
Focal length =
fo=

1 +2 +3
3

cm

1 + 2
2

(cm)
f1=
f2=
f3=

Calculating refractive index:


Without any liquid

= +

Hence refractive index of lens n=


With water:

= ( + )

Hence refractive index of water nw=


With oil:

= ( + )

Hence refractive index of oil no=

Refractive index of water is:


Refractive index of oil is:

1)
2)
3)
4)

Plane mirror should be completely clean.


Liquid taken should be transparent.
Parallax error should be removed.
Only add few drops of liquid is to be
poured on mirror.
5) Legs of spherometer should be vertical.
6) To prevent backslash error in spherometer
rotate the screw in one direction.
1) Liquid may not be transparent.
2) Parallax may not be fully removed.
3) Legs of spherometer should be placed
evenly on convex lens.
4) Tip of screw of spherometer should just
touch the surface.

This project in overall finds the refractive index


of any transparent liquid and also verifies lens
makers formula.