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Experiment 403: Refraction from a Spherical Surface:

Thin Lens
<John Megryan B. Samartino >
<School of Civil, Environmental and Geological Engineering>
Mapua Institute of Technology
I. Abstract
Refraction is the bending of light ray as it hits a material of different
optical density. Transparent materials like lenses can refract parallel ray of
light and can produce an image. If the middle part of lens is thicker, it is
called a converging lens or a convex lens. But if the middle part is thinner,
the lens is called diverging lens or concave lens. The main effect of lenses
is to refract light passing through it. It is made up of transparent
substances that are bounded by two surfaces of regular form. However, it
is necessary that the index of refraction of the material should be higher
than that of the surrounding medium.
Generally, lenses are classified as either converging or diverging.
Converging lenses are thicker in the middle than they are in the edge.
Conversely, diverging lenses are thicker at the edges than at the middle,
so that, the incident waves to the surface parallel to lens axis diverge
from a point in front of the lens (principal focus).
II. Objectives
For Experiment 403 entitled as Refraction from a Spherical Surface: Thin
Lens, one can state that the study seeks (i) to determine the focal length
of a convex lens using (a) different locations of the object and (b) the
graphical method.
III. Results and Discussion
This experiment tackles the concept of thin lens and refraction of a light
from a spherical surface. Refraction can be described as a wave bent
when it passes a certain medium with different optical density. There are
many types of lens but in this experiment we mainly focused on the
properties of a converging lens. This lens has the ability to change the
shape of a certain wave that pass through it.
In the first part, we determine the focal length of the two lens using an
object at infinity. We used the light passing through the window of our
room as our object at infinity, we adjusted the lens until a sharp image of
the window is formed. We have observed that the image created is real
and inverted.
In the second part of our experiment, we determine the focal length using
an object at a finite distance. We used the light source, convex lens and
image screen for this part. The screen is placed 1 meter away from the
light source. The lens are the ones that will be moved until the object
projected from the screen is sharp. We have observed in the lens 1 that
the image projected is larger than the original image and inverted but

when the lens is closer from the image screen, the image projected
becomes smaller. Therefore if the object distance is greater than the
image distance the size of the image projected decreases but when the
image distance is greater than the object distance the image projected is
larger. The object and image distance can an interchanging values which
gives a point of conjunction but still it will yield a similar value for f based
on the data we gathered.
In the last part of the experiment, we are tasked to determine the focal
length using the graphical technique. It can be observed in the graph that
as 1/s decreases, 1/s increases therefore 1/s and 1/s has an inversely
proportional relationship. The focal length is obtained by using the
reciprocal of the intercepts. If we compare the average value of the focal
length gathered by our group to its actual value, it has similar values
because we obtained a percentage error of 0.31%. Also by observing,
position 1 and 2 that are created by the line coincides with one another
which proves the theory that image and object distances are really
Lastly, the magnification of the projected image indicates the orientation
of an object. Having a positive magnification indicates that the orientation
of the image is upright, while if the magnification value is negative it
means that the object is inverted. When the magnification value is less
than one, the image it projects is smaller but when the magnification
value is greater than one, the image it projects is larger. By using these
information and the data we gathered we can say that the image
projected in this part of our experiment has an orientation opposite from
the object, because our values are negative.
IV. Conclusion
I can therefore conclude that, refraction is a phenomenon that occurs
when the light ray is bent when it hits a certain object. Lens is a device
made of transparent material that refracts the light rays going through it.
In this experiment we mainly used convex lens, it has 2 focal points which
is one on each sides, because of that the values of the image and object
distance can be interchanged and it can form a real inverted image or a
virtual erected image which depends on the values of the distances of the
focal length and object. If the object is outside of the images focal length
it can be concluded that the image formed is real and inverted, but if the
object is inside the focal length the image formed is virtual and upright.
We can differentiate the concave and convex lens by the image it projects.
Convex lens projects a real image while a concave lens projects a virtual
Magnification can be described as the ratio of an image size. Magnification
has different properties, when its value is negative it indicates that the
image is inverted. If the value of the magnification is positive it can be
said that the orientation is upright. If the value is greater than 1 we can

say that the image magnified is enlarged but if the value is less than 1 the
image size is diminished.
Therefore we have proved that image and object distances are
interchangeable which we can conclude that it has points of conjunction
that will yield the same value for the focus.

Sample Computation:
Part A: Determination of Focal Length using an Object at Infinity
Solution: Lens 1 (Trial 1)
=9.9 cm
1 1
error =

x 100 =0.5

Part B: Determination of Focal Length using an Object at Finite Distance

Solution: Lens 1 (Position 1)
=9.8 cm
1 1
11 90
error =

x 100 =2.05

Part C: Determination of Focal Length using Graphical Technique

Solution: Lens 2 (Position 1)
=0.033898 c m1
=0.014184 c m1
100-cm Gap:
s 29.5
s ' 70.5
90-cm Gap:

=0.030675 c m
s 32.6

=0.017422c m
s ' 57.4

85-cm Gap:

=0.025907 c m1
s 38.6

=0.021552 c m1
s ' 46.4


y=0.9177 x+ 0.0454

x-intercept: 0.049472 c m
x =
=20.21366 cm

Focal Length:

y-intercept: 0.0454 c m
y =
=22.02643 cm

Focal Length:

Focal Length:
Ave Focal Length=
error =

=21.2004 cm

x 100 =5.60022


100-cm Gap:


s 70.5

x 100 =1.45


hi 9.7
ho 4