Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Physics Teacher Guide
This manual features over 30 College Board curriculum and AP Physics exam inspired lab activities.
Focal Length of a Lens
Use a basic optics kit to determine the unknown focal length of a converging lens (spherical).
Given a converging lens (spherical) with unknown focal length, experimentally determine a value for the correct focal length of this lens.
Design and conduct an experiment to:
- Determine the unknown focal length of the lens using the thin lens equation.
- Show the relationships between the focal length of a converging lens and the object and image formation distances.
- Compare experimental values for image magnification to theoretical values.
Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:
- Assembling the optics equipment onto the optics bench and then using the movable viewing screen to locate a focused image produced by the lens.
- Measuring and recording both so and si for 5 different lens and light source configurations.
- Using the vernier calipers to measure the height of the image on the viewing screen for each configuration.
- Plotting 1/si versus1/so then use a line of best fit whose y-intercept is equal to 1/f to determine f for the lens.
- Comparing the measured values for magnification (hi/ho) to the theoretical (–si/so).
Sensors / Equipment Used:
A group of components designed to allow students conduct various optical experiments.
Stainless Steel Calipers
The Associated Bundle:
This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Advanced Physics lab manual.