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In the Refraction and Lenses Inquiry Lab Kit for AP® Physics 2, identify the properties of curved lenses, both concave and convex.

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AP Physics 2, Big Idea 6, Investigation 12

When looking at a fish in water, the location of the fish is not the same as where you see it. Light rays reflect from the fish and bend as they pass from water into air. This same phenomenon is utilized to make corrective lenses in eyeglasses. We can investigate how light rays refract using Snell’s law.

The purpose of this advanced-inquiry lab is to design a procedure to identify the properties of lenses, both concave and convex. The lab begins with introductory activity to investigate Snell’s law using a gelatin-filled dish and laser pointer. Students draw the rays of incidence and refraction and compare the angles. A series of guided-inquiry questions lead students to predict focal lengths of concave and convex lenses and the location and type of images formed. Students then perform experiments to confirm their predictions.

Enough materials are provided for six student groups to perform the Introductory Activity and for a single demonstration set-up of the Guided-Inquiry equipment. Additional lenses, meter stick optics equipment and lasers are available separately.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS4.A: Wave Properties
MS-PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation
HS-PS4.A: Wave Properties

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Cause and effect
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

MS-PS4-2. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
HS-PS4-3. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.