Determination of the Refractive Index of a Glass Block Using Snell's Law

This Determination of the Refractive Index of a Glass Block Using Snell's Law lesson plan also includes:

Willebrord Snellius, an astronomer and mathematician, is known in the English speaking world as Snell. The third lesson in the 11-part series uses Snell's Law. Scholars locate an image formed in a glass block with a search pin. Then they measure the real versus apparent depth. This data allows them to determine the refractive index.

 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Relate the lesson to the refractive index of water in a pool
Classroom Considerations
  • Be careful not to drop the glass block on the floor or prick yourself with the optical pins
  • Requires prior knowledge of algebra and geometry—advanced algebra would be helpful but is not required
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • Hands-on activity relates Snell's Law to a real-life problem
  • Includes assessment questions and answers to select from
Cons
  • None
Common Core