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Total Internal Reflection


Source Institutions

    Optical Society of America

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Total Internal Reflection

In this activity, learners use a laser pointer, empty soda bottle, rubber plug and water to demonstrate total internal reflection. Use this simple activity as a demonstration or group activity to explore reflection, refraction, fiber optics, and Snell's Law. This resource contains background information about total internal reflection, the equation for Snell's Law, and refractive indexes as well as links to articles about reflection and refraction of light.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • Laser pointer (preferably green)
  • Empty 2-liter soda bottle (clear)
  • Rubber plug
  • Bucket
  • Water

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
      • Variables and Expressions
    • Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Lasers
      • Reflection and Refraction
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Optical Society of America, ©2008

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