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Verifying Snell-Descartes Law Essay

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PHYSICs hl 2015 term 2 IA
Nathan Hettige
Verifying Snell-Descartes Law
PHYSICs hl 2015 term 2 IA
Nathan Hettige


Introduction 2
Rationale 2
Research Project 2
History 2
Deriving Snell’s Law in a form suitable for analyzing data. 3
Results 5
Raw Data 5
Processed Data 6
Processed Graphs 7
Discussion 8
Conclusion 8
References 9

Recently, I was drinking a soft drink through a straw and when I put the glass down onto the table, I noticed that there was a distortion of the straw from where it was in the liquid and where it was out of the liquid.
Research Project
In physics, there is a law describing the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction. This is referring to light or other types of waves flowing through to different Isotropic medias such as glass, air or water. In other words, light bends at different angles dependent on the type of uniform medias on each side of the boundary.

The law states the ratio between the sines of both angles to a perpendicular line (sinθ1sinθ2) is proportional to the ratio of the phase velocities (v1v2) in each media. This law was named after the Dutch astronomer Willebrord Snellius.
(Hamper, Chris) Physics SL
(Hamper, Chris) Physics SL
My purpose for conducting this investigation is to investigate and validate Snells Law. It will help me gain an understanding as to why light bends through different materials. I will be gathering data via a computer simulation created by Walter Fendt.

A Greek mathematician founded a relationship in refracting angles but his data had proved inaccurate for smaller angles. Cladius Ptolemy, confident in finding an accurate law,...

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