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58

Julia Heimark

3 Methodology

A triangular prism was set up so that a laser could shine through it onto a blank wall. First, the point where the laser hit on the wall without the prism was recorded. en water was poured into the prism, and the point on the wall was recorded again. A known amount of sodium chloride (to reach a specic salinity) was added and the new point was recorded. is was repeated six times with increasing amounts of salt. Each time the water was drained, new room-temperature water was added, and the measurement of the refracted point noted. e process was then repeated another three times, this time varying the water temperature instead of the salinity. Aer the data was recorded, the index of refraction was calculated using trigonometry and Snell’s Law.

4 Detailed Procedure

  • I.

    Make the prism:

    • 1.

      Glue the three smaller squares together (edge to edge, at a 60°

angle) with acetone to make a triangular shape. Duct tape the edges to add extra security.

2. Use the acetone to attach the triangle to the bigger square, which will be the base.

3. Aer the acetone has dried, use the caulking around the base to ensure that water will not leak out.

4. Let dry overnight before adding water.

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