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element with flat, polished surfaces that refracts

light. The exact angles between the surfaces

depend on the application. The traditional

geometrical shape is that of a triangular prism with

a triangular base and rectangular sides, and in

colloquial use “prism” usually refers to this type.

Some types of optical prism are not in fact in the

shape of geometric prisms. Prisms can be made

from any material that is transparent to the

wavelengths for which they are designed. Typical

materials include glass, plastic and fluorite. Prism

can be used to break light up into its constituent

spectral colors (the colors of the rainbow). Prisms

can also be used to reflect light, or to split light into

components with different polarizations.

Before Isaac Newton, it was believed that

white light was colorless, and that the prism itself

produced the color. Newton’s experiments

demonstrated that all the colors already existed in

the light in a heterogeneous fashion, and that

“corpuscles” (particles) of light were fanned out

because particles with different colors traveled

with different speeds through the prism. It was only

later that Young and Fresnel combined Newton’s

particle theory with Huygens’ wave theory to show

that color is the visible manifestation of light’s

wavelength. Newton arrived at his conclusion by

passing the red color from one prism through

second prism and found the color unchanged. From

this, he concluded that the colors must already be

present in the incoming light and white light

consists of a collection of colors. As the white light

passes through the triangular prism, the light

separates into the collection of colors: red, orange,

yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. This

collection of colors formed by the prism is called

the spectrum. The separation of white light into its

spectrum is known as dispersion.

Dispersion occurs because each color travels

through the prism at different speeds. Violet travels

the slowest through the prism; hence we can see it

refracting the most. On the other hand, red passes

through at a much fast rate which makes its angle

of refraction less, hence red is too scarce to be

seen.

AIM: To investigate the dependence, of the angle

of deviation on the angle of incidence, using a

hallow prism filled, one by one, with different

transparent fluids.

APPARATUS:

Drawing board, white sheets of paper, hollow

prism, different liquids (water, kerosene oil, etc),

drawing pins, pencil, half meter scale, thump pins,

graph papers and a protractor.

THEORY:

Refraction of Light through a Prism –

Diagram shows section ABC of a prism taken by a

vertical plane, perpendicular to the edge. BC is the

base of the prism and AB and AC are its two

refracting surfaces.

QS is the refracted ray.

ST is the emergent ray.

RQN1 = i = angle of incidence

SQN3 = r1 = angle of refraction inside prism

QSN3 = r2 = angle of incidence inside prism

TSN2 = e = angle of emergence

BAC = A = angle of prism

SFK = D = angle of deviation

In QFS, KFS = FQS + FSQ

D = (i – r1) + (e – r2)

D = i + e – (r1 + r2)

… (1)

In QS1N3, r1 + r2 + QN3S = 180⁰

… (2)

The quadrilateral AQN3S is cyclic quadrilateral, then

A + QN3S = 180

… (3)

From (2) and (3)

A = r 1 + r2

… (4) Eq. (1) become

D=i+e-A

D + A = i +e

… (5)

Angle of Minimum Deviation -

Definition: The minimum value of angle of

deviation is called angle of minimum deviation.

It is represented by the symbol Dm.

Explanation: For same angle of deviation (D)

there are two values of angle of incidence. One

value equals ‘i’ and other value equals ‘e’.

As angle ‘i’ is increased from a small value, ‘e’

decreases from large value and angle of

deviation decreases. When angle of deviation

is minimum (Dm), then, ‘i’ and ‘e’ becomes

equal.

The refracted ray QS goes parallel to base BC.

sin i sin e

∵ n=

Since i = e, we have r1 = r2. ( sin r1 = sin r 2 )

r (say).

We have A = r1 + r2 = r + r = 2r

A

⇒

r= 2

e

From relation, A + D = i +e

We have, A + Dm = i + i = 2i

A+ Dm

⇒

i= 2

sin i

n= sin r

A + Dm

sin

2

We have n= sin

A

2

Prism material.

DIAGRAM:

different angles

PROCEDURE:

1.A white sheet of paper was fixed on the

drawing board with the help of drawing pins.

2. A straight line XX’ parallel to the length of the

paper was drawn nearly in the middle of the

paper.

3. Points Q1,Q2,Q3 and Q4 were marked on the

straight line XX’ at suitable distances of about

6cm.

4. Normal’s N1Q1,N2Q2,N3Q3 and N4Q4 were drawn

on points Q1,Q2,Q3 and Q4.

5. Straight lines R1Q1,R2Q2,R3Q3 and R4Q4 were

drawn making angles of 40⁰,45⁰,50⁰ and 55⁰

respectively with the normals.

6. One corner of the prism was marked as A and it

was taken as the edge of the prism for all the

observations.

7. Prism with its refracting face AB was put in the

line XX’ and point Q1 was put in the middle of

AB.

8. The boundary of the prism was marked.

9.Two pins P1 and P2 were fixed vertically on the

line R1Q1 and the distance between the pins

were about 2cm.

10. The images of points P1 and P2 were looked

through face AC.

11. Left eye was closed and right eye was

opened and was brought in line with the two

images.

12. Two pins P3 and P4 were fixed vertically at

about 2cm apart such that the open right eye

sees pins P4 and P3 as images of P2 and P1 in

one straight line.

13. Pins P1,P2,P3 and P4 were removed and their

pricks on the paper were encircled.

14. Steps 7 to 13 were again repeated with

points Q2,Q3 and Q4 for i=45⁰,50⁰ and 55⁰.

15. Straight lines through points P4 and P3 were

drawn to obtain emergent rays S1T1, S2T2, S3T3

and S4T4.

16. T1S1,T2S2 ,T3S3 and T4S4 were produced inward

in the boundary of the prism to meet produced

incident rays R1Q1, R2Q2,R3Q3 and R4Q4 at points

F1,F2,F3 and F4.

17. Angles K1F1S1,K2F2S2,K3F3S3 and K4F4S4 were

measured. These angles give angle of

deviation D1, D2,D3 and D4.

18. Values of these angles were written on the

paper.

19. Angle BAC was measured in the boundary of

the prism. This gives angle A.

20. Observations were recorded.

OBSERVATIONS:

S.No. Angle Angle of Angle Angle of

of deviatio of deviatio

incidenc n for deviatio n for

e water n for turpenti

kerosen ne oil

e oil

1 40⁰ 23⁰ 36⁰ 32⁰

2 45⁰ 24⁰ 33⁰ 33⁰

3 50⁰ 25⁰ 34⁰ 34⁰

4 55⁰ 26⁰ 35⁰ 35⁰

RESULTS:

The angle of minimum deviation for –

Water Dm = 23⁰C

Kerosene oil Dm = 33⁰C

Turpentine oil Dm = 32⁰C

Water n = 1.32

Kerosene oil n = 1.46

Turpentine oil n = 1.44

Kerosene oil v = 2.05x108 m/s

Turpentine oil v = 2.08x108 m/s

PRECAUTIONS:

The angle of incidence should lie between

35⁰ – 60⁰.

The pins should be fixed vertical.

The distance between the two pins should

not be less than 10mm.

Arrow heads should be marked to represent

the incident and emergent rays.

The same angle of prism should be used for

all the observations.

SOURCES OF ERROR:

Pin pricks may be thick.

Measurement of angles may be wrong.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

appropriate information required to complete the

project:

NCERT textbook of class XII

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