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Analysis

Of all the properties of light, its bouncing behavior, observed when it strikes a surface

termed as reflection was studied in this experiment. The experiment was divided into six parts in

which three different types of mirror was considered. Various equipment such as a light source,

optics table and a ray table was utilized to be able to understand the laws governing reflection

and image formation on mirrors.

It was seen in the first part of the experiment that the angle in which the light strikes a

surface or the angle of incidence was equal to the angle in which it bounces back called the angle

of reflection. Through the use of a ray table and the light source that illuminates the flat mirror,

the group had clearly seen and was able to record equal angles of incidence and reflection which

proved the first law of reflection. After doing so, the number of images produced by two flat

mirrors at a certain angle was determined next. Parallel mirrors are expected to produce an

infinite number of image due to the light rays that are continuously and repeatedly reflected back

to each mirror. Using two flat mirrors, the group was able to observe the influence of the angle

between the mirrors on the number of images perceived by an observer. Based on the data

obtained that did not vary from the actual values, the number of images increases as the angle

between the two mirrors approaches 0.

After considering flat mirrors, the group had also studied reflection on spherical mirrors,

the concave and convex mirrors. The process of image formation on these mirrors was first

studied in the third part of the experiment. Using a piece of paper and light source that produced

light rays traveling parallel to the principal axis, or the line that passes through the center and the

vertex of the spherical mirror, the focal points of the concave and convex mirror was located.

The incident and reflected rays were traced on the paper placed on top of the ray table to
determine the location of the focal point. When the concave mirror was used to reflect light rays

from the light source, reflected rays were observed to be converging on a common point in front

of the mirror. These light rays was traced and the point on which rays were converging was

identified as the focal point of the concave mirror. On the other hand, different behavior of

reflected rays was observed when the group studied the convex mirror. Reflected rays were no

longer meeting at one point, instead it diverged to different directions. The rays were again

traced and extending the lines of these rays to the back of the mirror, it was discovered that the

lines were once meeting at a same point. In doing so, it was realized that the focal point of the

convex mirror was located at the back. After locating the point, its distance from the mirror was

measured to determine the radius of the mirror which is twice the focal length. The experimental

radius of the convex mirror was more accurate than that of the concave, a significant difference

that could be accounted to the difficulty of pointing the exact common point where the rays had

met due to the overlapping of light rays. Lastly, the group determined the focal length of a

concave mirror using the mirror equation in the succeeding sections of the experiment. Using a

candle and an image viewer, the group performed 4 trials in the fourth up to the last part of the

experiment wherein the position of the image and the object was varied. After obtaining the data,

the group was able to compute the average focal length which can be considered to be accurate

and precise to the actual value of 7.25 cm. Among the sections, the fifth part of the experiment

had the most noticeable experimental values. The first trial had the most accurate value which

was 7.29 cm while the third had the least accurate. The low accuracy obtained could be

accounted to the groups failure to round up inexact distances. The group had also realized that

the distance of the object and the image affects the size of the image form. The image produced
was at its maximum size when placed the object was placed near the object and minimum when

the distance of the object and the image from the mirror was the same.

Conclusion

At the end of the experiment, the group was able to understand reflection and how

it occurs on various type of mirror. First, the experiment helped the group in proving the validity

of the first law of reflection which states that the angle of incidence is always equal to the angle

of reflection. By pointing the light source to a plain mirror placed on top of a ray table, the law

was validated when equal readings of the angle of incidence and reflection were obtained.

Although the group was able to obtain accurate values of the angle, difficulties were encountered

in the preparation of the setup because the head of light source could not be fixed that it always

move even with a slight force. In performing this part, it is recommended to be careful in

adjusting the ray table at a certain angle so that adjustment in the head of the light source will no

longer be needed and the duration of the data gathering could be improved.

The group had also learned to determine the number of images produced by two adjacent

mirror using two flat mirrors adjusted at a certain angle in every trial and a pushpin located in

between the two mirrors and was able to obtain accurate values. Even so, the group had

experienced difficulty in making the mirrors adjacent and still due to its thickness. Moreover the

size of the pin used made it more difficult to count the number of images formed in trials that

required smaller angle. To avoid such problems, it is recommended to use thinner mirror and

smaller pins to make the data gathering faster.

On the other hand, in determining the radius of a concave and a convex lens the group

was able to understand how image are formed in spherical mirrors. The radius was determined
through the focal length measured by tracing the light rays on a paper and determining where it

meets. For this part of the experiment, it is recommended to have a light source that has an

adjustable brightness so that the focal point of a concave mirror can be specifically located.

Lastly, the experiment facilitated another way of determining the focal length of a

concave mirror which was done by determining the distance of the object and the image

projected in the viewer from the mirror when a clear image was produced. The focal length was

computed using the mirror equation

1 1 1
= +
f p q

where f is the focal length, p is the distance of the object from the mirror and q is the distance of

the image from the mirror. From the observations recorded during the experimentation, it can be

concluded that the size of the image form varies with the distance of the object and the image.

The size of the image is bigger than the actual when the object is placed nearer than the image

viewer and smaller when this position is reversed. On the other hand, the actual size of the object

can only be seen when the object and the viewer is of the same distance from the mirror. This

relationship is summarized by the formula of the magnification:

q
M=
p

The use of an optics table where the mirror could be in place is recommended so that error in

threading of the distance would not be committed.