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Thin Lenses and Virtual Images

Experiment #17 from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Beyond Mechanics

Education Level
High School


In this experiment, you will investigate virtual images and examine two important applications of these images: the magnifying glass and the telescope. One of the many claims to fame of Galileo Galilei is his work refining the design of a refracting optical telescope. Telescopes use combinations of lenses to produce a magnified image.


In this experiment, you will

  • Use ray diagrams to show the formation of virtual images by concave and convex lenses.
  • Contrast characteristics of real and virtual images.
  • Examine the conditions under which a convex lens acts like a magnifying glass.
  • Use a combination of lenses to form a telescope.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #17 of Advanced Physics with Vernier — Beyond Mechanics. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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