Students measure the angles of refraction of laser light traveling through gelatin, then plot their data to calculate the gelatin’s index of refraction.You may choose from two different "Elaborate" activities:
Gelatin Stack: Students formulate a hypothesis and design a simple experiment to test it.
The “Super” in Super Gelatin: Students calculate how the wavelength and speed of light change inside the gelatin.
Materials You Will Need
Per student lab group
- Wax paper sheet
- graph paper (1/4 inch ruled with blue ink)
- scientific calculator (like a TI-30)
- Laser pointer
- binder clip big enough to grip the laser pointer and hold down the “on” switch.
To prepare Gelatin for distribution to lab groups
- Knox gelatin (8 x 7 ounce envelopes)
- desert gelatin with sugar (like Jell-O®) in red (strawberry) and yellow (pineapple).
- cookie sheet (1/2 to 3/4 inch deep, smooth and non-stick surface) or brownie pan (8 x 8inches, 2 inches deep).