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AIM:

To determine the refractive index of a liquid using convex lens


MATERIALS REQUIRED:
1. The given convex lens
2. The given liquid- kerosene
3. Plane mirror
4. Retort stand
5. Pointer
6. Mercury
7. Meter scale
8. China dish
THEORY:

In optics, the refractive index or index of refraction n of a material is a


dimensionless number that describes how light propagates through that
medium. It is defined as:
𝑐
𝜇= 𝑣
Where, c is the speed of light in vacuum and v is the phase velocity of
light in the medium. For example, the refractive index of water is 1.333,
meaning that light travels 1.333 times faster in a vacuum than it does in
water. The refractive index determines how much light is bent, or
refracted, when entering a material. When light moves from one
medium to another, it changes its direction, i.e., it is refracted. If i is the
angle of incidence of a ray in vacuum and r is the angle of refraction,
the refractive index n is defined as the ratio of the sine of the angle of
incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction.
sin 𝑖
𝜇= sin 𝑟
When a convex lens is placed over some drops of the given liquid on a
plane mirror, a Plano-concave liquid lens is formed between the lens
and the mirror.
Formula to be used

𝐹 𝑓1
1. 𝑓2 = 𝑐𝑚
𝑓1 − 𝐹
𝑓2 𝑑
2. 𝑅 = 𝑐𝑚
𝑓2 − 𝑑
𝑅
3. 𝜇 = 1 + 𝑓2

Explanation of the formula

f1 – focal length of the convex lens

f2 – focal length of the Plano-convex lens

F – Total focal length of liquid and convex lens

d – Distance between the centre of the lens and needle when floated in
Mercury
R – Radius of curvature
µ – refractive index of the liquid lens
Procedure:

1To find the focal length of the convex lens:

 The plane mirror is placed horizontally on the base of the retort stand
with its reflecting surface upwards.
 The given convex lens is placed over the plane mirror.
 The pointer is arranged horizontally on the clamp of the retort stand,
vertically above the lens.
 Looking from above, the height of the pointer is adjusted such that the
inverted image of the pointer is obtained.

 Bring the needle to such a position that the tip of the lens lies in the
principal axis of lens i.e. its image appears to touch the tip.
 Move the needle up and down in order to remove the parallax error
 Measure the distance between the needle and upper surface of plane
mirror (A)
 Measure the distance between the needle and the top of convex
lens (B)

 Then find the focal length of convex lens using the formula:
𝐴+𝐵
𝑓1 = ( ) 𝑐𝑚
2
2To determine the focal length of the combination of convex lens and
liquid lens (Plano-convex lens):

 Remove the lens and place a few drops of the given liquid (kerosene)
on the plane mirror.
 The lens is then placed over the liquid with its marked face in contact
with the liquid.
 A Plano-concave liquid lens is thus formed between the convex lens
and the plane mirror.
 Bring the needle to such a position that the tip of the lens lies in the
principal axis of lens i.e. its image appears to touch the tip.
 Move the needle up and down in order to remove the parallax error.
 Measure the distance between the needle and upper surface of plane
mirror (A1)
 Measure the distance between the needle and the top of convex
lens (B1)
 Then find the focal length of Plano-convex lens using the formula:
𝐴1 + 𝐵1
𝐹= ( ) 𝑐𝑚
2
Then calculate the focal length of the liquid lens using the formula:
𝐹 𝑓1
𝑓2 = 𝑐𝑚
𝑓1 − 𝐹
3To determine the distance between centre of lens and needle floated in
mercury:

 The convex lens is floated in mercury and taken in a china dish with
its marked face in contact with mercury.
 The pointer adjustment for coincidence is done
 Bring the needle to such a position that the tip of the lens lies in the
principal axis of lens i.e. its image appears to touch the tip.
 Move the needle up and down in order to remove the parallax error
 Measure the distance between the needle and upper surface of
mercury (A)
 Measure the distance between the needle and the top of convex
lens (B)
 Then find the distance between centre of lens and needle floated in
mercury using the formula:
𝐴+𝐵
𝑑= ( ) 𝑐𝑚
2
 Then find the radius of curvature using the formula:
𝑓2 𝑑
𝑅= 𝑐𝑚
𝑓2 − 𝑑

 So the refractive index of the given liquid can be calculated used using
the formula:
𝑅
𝜇 =1+
𝑓2
Case 1: Focal length of convex lens (f1)

Distance between needle and plane mirror = A


Distance between needle and top of convex lens = B
𝐴+𝐵
𝑓1 = (
2
) 𝑐𝑚
Case 2: Focal length of Plano convex lens (R)

Distance between needle and plane mirror = A1


Distance between needle and top of convex lens = B1
𝐴1 + 𝐵1
𝐹= ( ) 𝑐𝑚
2
Case 3: To determine the distance between the centre of the lens and
Needle floated in mercury

Distance between needle and surface of Mercury = A


Distance between needle and top of convex lens = B
𝐴+𝐵
𝑑= ( ) 𝑐𝑚
2
PRECAUTIONS:
1. The plane mirror should be clean and fully shining surface.
2. The liquid taken should be transparent.
3. The parallax should be removed tip to tip.
4. The eye should be at a distance about 30 cm from the needle while
removing the parallax
5. Only few drops of liquid should be taken so that its layer should be
thick.
SOURCE OF ERROR:
1. Liquid may now be transparent.
2. The parallax error may not be fully.
3. Measurements may not be correct
RESULT:
1. Focal length of convex lens (f1) =
2. Focal length of Plano convex lens (f2) =
3. Radius of curvature (R) =
4. Refractive index of the given liquid (kerosene) (µ) =

Many optical tasks require several lenses in order to achieve an acceptable level of
performance. One such possible approach to lens combination is to consider the image formed
by each lens as the object for the next lens and so on. This is a valid approach, but it is time
consuming and difficult. Liquid lens experiment can be used to find the optical constants of a
lens and also to find the refractive indices of various liquids.

The theory behind the liquid lens is based on the properties of one or more liquid to create
magnification within a small amount of space. The focus of a liquid lens is controlled by the
surface of the liquid. Water normally form a bubble shape when adhered to materials like
glass. Thos desirable property of water makes it a very suitable candidate for the production
of liquid lens. Essentially the liquid must be transparent so as to study its properties. To
generate a liquid lens, a liquid is sandwiched between two pieces of a clear plastic or glass.
Glycerin can also be used as a fluid in the liquid lens system. The surface profiles of the liquid
determine the focal length of the liquid lens system and how the liquid lens focuses the light
rays.

If we keep the mirror behind the lens and put the object at the focus of the lens above it, the
image of the object will be formed at the same focus where the object is. If it is an extended
object, its image will be inverted and the size of the image is same as that of the object. This
property has enabled the efficient use of liquid lens to find the refractive index of a fluid by
this method. The focal length of the liquid lens can be calculated knowing the focal length of
the combination and that of the convex lens, from which the refractive index of the fluid can
easily be estimated.