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Light, Brightness and Distance

Figure from experiment 29 from Physics with Vernier


You may have noticed that a light source appears to be brighter when you are close to it and dimmer when you are farther away. This is because the amount of the light that enters your eye increases as you move closer to the light source.

There are several ways to measure the brightness of light. In this experiment, you will use a Light Sensor to measure the illumination detected by the sensor in lux. You will observe how illumination varies with distance and compare the results to a mathematical model.


Determine the mathematical relationship between illumination and distance from a light source.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Download Experiment Preview

The student-version preview includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
  • List of materials and equipment

Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.

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Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physics with Vernier »

Experiment 29 from Physics with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physics with Vernier</i> book cover

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Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include a CD with word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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