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Science Fair

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Lauren R

on 25 May 2013

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Transcript of Science Fair

Measuring the Speed of Light in Jell-O! by Lauren Reischer Hypothesis: Background: Key Terms: Background Continued . . . . The first attempt to measure the speed of light was by Galileo Galilei in the 17th century. He and his assistant would distance themselves and cover and uncover lamps, to see if they could determine how long it took for the other person to see the light. Galileo believed that if he could record a distance and the amount of time required to cross this distance, he would be able to figure the speed of a light wave.

The speed of light was too fast to be measured by Galileo's technique and it was impossible to measure even the interval of the speed of light with Galileo's tools. Light travels through vacuum--any empty space--because it is an electromagnetic wave, which means that it can regenerate itself. The ability to regenerate is what allows light waves to travel through both vacuum and media. By observing the effect that a change in media has on the travel of a laser beam, and applying the Law of Refraction, one can deduce the speed of light in Jell-O. Procedure: The Law of Refraction: The Law of Refraction essentially states that the ratio of the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction, are equal to the speeds of light in the two different media. Medium (Plural: Media): Media is what the laser beam travels through. Incidence: Incidence refers to all of the (measurements) action that occur outside of the gelatin. (It is the light hitting the Jell-O) Refraction: Refraction refers to all of the (measurements) action that occurs on the border where the media changes. Materials: Jell-O
A clear container
A protractor
A laser
A calculator The Normal: the line that is perpendicular to the refractive surface (Jell-O container) at the point of incidence. Shine the laser at a non-90 degree angle.
Identify the normal.
Measure the angle of incidence.
Measure the angle of refraction.
Calculate the ratio of the sines of the angles; this will be equal to the ratio of the speeds of light in air and Jell-O. The Law of Refraction: Laser: is a device that produces a narrow beam of light with the same frequency. The word LASER stands for Light Amplified by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Results: A study at the University of Texas states that the speed of light in Jell-O is 2.17x10^8 meters per second. Considering the simplicity of the tools used in this experiment, and the small percent error, this experiment
was pretty successful. When doing this experiment, one should keep in mind the color of the Jell-O that he or she uses. Light colors (such as yellow) will show the laser beam better than darker colors (such as blue). As well, one should keep in mind that the greater the incidence angle, the greater the angle of refraction (which will be easier to see). The main difficulty of this experiment is marking exactly the incidence point and the refracted. Diagram: Works Cited: Padilla, Michael J., Martha Cyr, and Ioannis Miaoulis.
"Chapter 4: Light." Prentice Hall Science Explorer:
Sound and Light. Needham, MA: Pearson
Prentice Hall, 2005. 104-29. Print.

Science Buddies. "Using a Laser to Measure the Speed
of Light in Gelatin." Using a Laser to Measure the
Speed of Light in Gelatin. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr.

"Law of Refraction." Law of Refraction. N.p., n.d.
Web. 07 May 2013.

"Refractive Index (physics)." Encyclopedia Britannica
Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 07 May

Science Buddies. "Ask an Expert." Science Buddies, 12
Apr. 2007. Web. 2 Mar. 2013.

University of Texas. "Super Gelatin." Lesson Plan.
University of Texas, Apr. 2010. Web. 6 May 2013.
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