July 1, 2002 - July 3, 2002
This week I am going to add more information to my website. I am dedicating a whole page to Total Internal Reflection. As I have already discussed, this is key for measuring the index of refraction in my tank. Everywhere I am reading I am seeing how index of refraction is the center of optics. It is a necessary thing to measure. Accuracy of measuring it is something that is always trying to be perfected. Total Internal Reflection I am spending a lot of this week trying to develop a whole outline of the next phase of my experimentation. I have had my sugar solution tank resting in the lab for a few weeks now. I am very curious to find out about its refraction index properties because it is blended in a very natural matter. It has spent the course of time just sitting undisturbed allowing it to blend in its own matter.
Ideas in Progress Page
This week Evan, Hilary and Ken also came to the lab. They are high school students working on developing projects that deal with the Intel Science Fair. Many of them are starting work now on getting an idea for a project. They are in a place that I was myself not that long ago.
I presented to them on Friday my project. Showing them what I have been doing so far and looking for any ideas. My project isn't difficult in the sense to comprehend. You don't need a lot of Physics. Any basic high school course is enough to understand what is happening inside the tank. What my project does require is some ingenious.
So far it has been an interesting project to work on. However simple it is to understand, none of the simple methods to measure the index of refraction can be applied. Any method that is tried there are aspects of innacurracies that need to be analyzed. My goal is to look at all methods and through all these devise the best one.
The whole idea of mirages is key in this project also. Things are not the way that they seem. Just looking at them through the inside of the tank towards the base you can notice how the tank appears to curve upwards. Looking downward it appears to slope upwards. This is a key demonstration on why I cannot simply take a photograph of the laser beam. A picture of it would inevitably be distorted because nothing in the tank appears as it should.
The whole idea of mirages is key in this project. Things are not the way that they seem. Just looking through the inside of the tank towards the base you can notice how the base of the tank appears to curve upwards. This alone is a key demonstration on why I cannot simply take a photograph of the laser beam. A picture