Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Snell's Law of Refraction


Have you ever wondered what causes mirages, how lenses can focus light, or why your feet look closer and bigger in a pool of water than you know they are? All these phenomena can be explained using the concept of refraction and an experimentally validated equation known as Snell's Law.

When light travels through a vacuum or a dilute gas such as air, it does so at the incredible speed of cvac=3.00x108 m/s. Light travels more slowly in uniform transparent substances such as clear plastic and water.


In this activity, you will

  • Provide experimental verification of Snell’s Law.
  • Use the Law to determine the speed of light in Acrylite, which is a clear plastic often used to make lenses.

Software for Experiment

This experiment uses Logger Pro software for video analysis. The video for analysis is included with the lab book.

Experiment 33 from Physics with Video Analysis Lab Book

<em>Physics with Video Analysis</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

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

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